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23 Jan 2014

The Russians are coming!

Russian tour operators visit Northern Ireland

As the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries become increasingly important for overseas tourism, Tourism Ireland was delighted to welcome 12 leading Russian tour operators to Northern Ireland this week.

The visit of the Russian travel experts, which was organised by Camelot Tours, included the iconic Titanic Belfast, as well as a panoramic tour of Belfast. The group also checked out some of the city’s hotels, including the Europa, Merchant and Ramada Encore. The next day, they travelled north along the scenic Causeway Coastal Route, stopping off at the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Giant’s Causeway and the Bushmills Distillery.

Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of developing markets, said: “We are delighted that these influential Russian tour operators have taken time out of their busy schedules to come and visit Northern Ireland. For all of them, it was their first visit and they were extremely impressed by the spectacular scenery, the many things to see and do, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met. Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important, as they help to showcase what’s on offer in Northern Ireland for potential holidaymakers from Russia.

“Right now, the majority of our overseas visitors come from the core tourism markets of Great Britain, North America and Mainland Europe and, while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the longer-term opportunities presented by Russia and the other BRIC countries. The Russian economy is growing fast and travel is showing similar growth, with over 35 million visits outside of Russia taken each year – we believe this market could play a significant part in helping us to grow tourism from overseas in the coming years.”


Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is responsible for in excess of 5.2% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 43,000 jobs.
  • In 2014, Tourism Ireland estimates that almost 1.8 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately £508 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.

Previous Press Release

21 Jan 2014

Tourism operators go Dutch