A group of specialist tour operators from Spain visited Northern Ireland recently, on a fact-finding trip. They were EFL (studying English as a Foreign Language) specialists, who put in place arrangements for students who wish to travel abroad to improve their English.
Their visit was organised by Tourism Ireland and supported by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to showcase Northern Ireland’s language schools. They visited the Foyle Language School and the North West Academy in Londonderry; and International House Language School and Queen’s University in Belfast, as well as taking in some of our main tourist sights, including a tour of the Tower Museum in Derry and the Giant’s Causeway.
Barbara Wood, Tourism Ireland Spain, said: “We have been working hard to promote Northern Ireland in Spain, as a potential host destination for students wishing to improve their English. The EFL sector is already very valuable business for the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain; there is definitely an opportunity now to grow business from this sector in Spain to Northern Ireland. We know that Northern Ireland appeals to these influential agents and their students; as a dynamic and modern place with a high standard of education which is known for its rich culture and of course for the warm welcome extended to visitors.”
Already a number of the agents who participated in this trip are planning to programme Northern Ireland this year and to send EFL business here.
Spain is the largest generator of EFL tourism to the island of Ireland. Direct access from Spain to Northern Ireland has never been better - with flights from Barcelona and Malaga to Belfast (with Aer Lingus), from Barcelona, Malaga and Alicante to Belfast (with easyJet) and from Alicante to Londonderry (with Ryanair).
For further press information contact:
Elaine Moore / Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260 mobile: 077 6652 7719