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27 Feb 2013

Next stop Belfast for GB coach tour operators

A group of almost 40 coach tour operators from Great Britain visited Northern Ireland recently, as part of a fact-finding visit organised by Tourism Ireland.

The group included decision-makers from coach tour companies who package and sell holidays to customers around GB. It was a first-time visit to Northern Ireland for everyone in the group and they were delighted with the warm welcome they received and impressed by the attractions they visited. The aim of the visit was to encourage them to include Northern Ireland in their future programmes.

As well as enjoying a visit to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra, their itinerary – designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board – also took them on a Belfast city tour, to Titanic Belfast and Titanic Dock and Pump House, before they headed along the Causeway Coastal route to the Giant’s Causeway. The trip also included time at Wrightbus in Ballymena, where they had an opportunity to inspect the factory facilities.

Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted these influential coach tour operators have had the opportunity to experience for themselves the high standard and variety of what Northern Ireland has to offer GB visitors, including the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Great Britain is our largest and most important tourism market and this year Tourism Ireland is rolling out the new ‘GB Path to Growth’ strategy, which aims to return this all-important market to sustained growth.

“We are targeting new businesses that are receptive to the type of experience Northern Ireland can offer and raising awareness of the many things to see and do here and the great value available. Our message is that there has never been a better time to visit.”