Tourism workshop outlines overseas opportunities for local tourism businesses
Twenty-four tourism enterprises located in and around the shores of Lough Neagh came together at the White River Hotel in Toomebridge for a tourism workshop and networking event, organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with the Lough Neagh Partnership.
The event – attended by accommodation providers, visitor attractions and representatives of various other local tourism businesses – explored ways to grow overseas tourism to the Lough and to Northern Ireland, in 2014 and beyond. Practical advice and tips about how to get involved in, and maximise, promotional opportunities overseas were outlined by Geraldine Egan from Tourism Ireland; Rosemary Lightbody from NITB looked at what overseas visitors to Northern Ireland want; and Niamh Byrne, of Abhainn Rí Self Catering Cottages, Co Wicklow, shared examples of how she has worked with Tourism Ireland to grow business from overseas.
Tourism Ireland is encouraging local tourism enterprises to be more proactive in promoting and selling overseas. Throughout 2014, Tourism Ireland will continue to secure thousands of promotional engagements for tourism enterprises – to help them do business overseas and facilitate them to ‘close the sale’.
Geraldine Egan, Tourism Ireland’s industry liaison officer, said: “I am delighted that so many of our tourism partners around Lough Neagh attended this workshop; it is really encouraging to have such interest in working together to grow tourism from overseas. The aim of the event was to provide our partners with a greater understanding of the overseas market, as they plan for the future. Tourism Ireland has many more promotional opportunities overseas for the autumn and winter of 2014 and we look forward to working with more partners – from Lough Neagh and elsewhere in Northern Ireland – who can help us to really bring the distinctiveness of a holiday here to life for overseas consumers and travel trade.”
Eimear Kearney, marketing officer, Lough Neagh Partnership, added: "This was a fantastic opportunity for the tourism businesses within the Lough Neagh and its Waterways Destination to learn how their business can benefit from marketing at a local, national and international level, by working in partnership with key organisations such as Lough Neagh Partnership, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Tourism Ireland. The event has highlighted the need for more networking opportunities for the tourism industry within the destination and Lough Neagh Partnership will endeavour to facilitate this in the near future.”
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 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 40,000 jobs.
- In 2013, almost 1.7 million overseas visitors visited Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of £474 million.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is ireland.com, which is available in ten different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.