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22 Oct 2014

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American travel agents visit Northern Ireland

A group of top travel agents from 18 different states across the United States visited Northern Ireland over the weekend – as guests of Tourism Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, in conjunction with American Airlines and Aer Lingus.

The travel agents – all representatives of top-producing American travel companies like Ensemble, Virtuoso, Signature Vacations and American Express – enjoyed an action-packed programme which included Belfast and visits to Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic. They also took in the Causeway Coastal Route, with tours of the Bushmills Distillery and the Giant’s Causeway; and Londonderry, where they enjoyed a visit to the Guildhall with Mayor Brenda Stevenson and a walking tour of the city’s walls.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said:

“We are delighted that so many of these influential travel agents took the time out of their busy schedules to come and visit Northern Ireland. Familiarisation visits such as these are extremely important, as the travel agents get to experience at first-hand the wealth of things to see and do here for American holidaymakers. Our aim is to enthuse them about the destination and ensure that when they return home they are better equipped to advise their clients about Northern Ireland when planning and booking their holidays.”

Sinéad Murray, Tourism Ireland (right), with some of the American travel agents at Titanic Belfast.

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, an estimated 1.7 million overseas visitors visited Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately £474 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, which is available in ten different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.