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24 Aug 2015

New tourism promotion targets millions of Spaniards for holidays in Belfast and Northern Ireland

‘Spanish Steps’ for Belfast with ads running in metro stations and on buses in Barcelona

Millions of commuters in Barcelona are seeing eye-catching ads for Belfast and Northern Ireland right now – in metro stations and on buses operating on the city’s busy thoroughfares. Tourism Ireland has teamed up with Visit Belfast and Vueling for a joint promotional campaign, which aims to raise awareness of Belfast as a fantastic city break destination and to drive sales of Vueling flights from Barcelona to Belfast this autumn. 

The campaign – which is running for four weeks – includes extensive online advertising on newspaper websites like La Vanguardia and El Periodico de Catalunya, as well as on popular travel sites like Rumbo and eDreams and on the Vueling website. Email marketing will reach about 1.3 million potential holidaymakers in this part of Spain and a further 1 million people on Vueling’s own database – reminding them why they should put Belfast and Northern Ireland on their holiday or short break wish-list this autumn. An article on Belfast will feature in the September edition of Ling, the inflight magazine of Vueling; and social media is also helping to spread the word, with posts about Belfast targeting Vueling’s 623,000 Facebook fans.

In 2014, we welcomed about 32,000 Spanish visitors to Northern Ireland, up +23% on the previous year. Barbara Wood, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Spain, said: “We are undertaking an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2015, to grow Spanish visitor numbers to Northern Ireland. Our co-operative campaign with Visit Belfast and Vueling is an important element of that programme, to boost travel to Northern Ireland during the autumn months. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with Vueling, Visit Belfast, Belfast City Airport and other tourism partners, through co-operative marketing, to drive demand for this flight, as well as working with other carriers and partners to promote and help maintain vital routes and services to Northern Ireland.”

Barbara Wood continued: “Latest NISRA figures indicate that we welcomed an additional +8% visitors from Mainland Europe to Northern Ireland in the first quarter of 2015. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that growth continues. As well as highlighting Northern Ireland’s Game of Thrones connections, we are also promoting the Causeway Coastal Route, new visitor experiences like The Gobbins Coastal Path and the refurbished Mount Stewart, as well as iconic attractions such as Titanic Belfast.” 

Ads are highlighting Belfast on buses in Barcelona. 

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.