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11 Jun 2015

Glenarm Castle in the frame with French business tourism buyers

A group of nine influential business tourism buyers from France enjoyed a fact-finding visit to Northern Ireland last week – as guests of Tourism Ireland – to explore what’s on offer for their clients. The group was joined by a journalist from a popular French tourism magazine Echo Touristique.  

The group included senior representatives of companies involved in the MICE (meetings, incentive, conferences and events) industry, who organise international conferences, meetings and large-scale incentive events around the world. Their itinerary, which was devised by Tourism NI, included visits to many of Northern Ireland’s top venues for business tourism events including Glenarm Castle, Titanic Belfast, Ballywalter Park and Castle Ward Estate. They also made site inspections of various hotels including the Hilton, Merchant, Europa, Fitzwilliam and Galgorm Resort and Spa.

During the trip, the French buyers also had the chance to explore some of Northern Ireland’s top tourism attractions, including the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Old Bushmills Distillery. They also experienced a Game of Thrones tour at Castle Ward.

Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s manager for southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted that this influential French group has taken the time to visit Northern Ireland, to experience for themselves our fantastic tourism offering and some of the many opportunities here for business travellers. Seeing is believing – so fact-finding visits like this are an invaluable part of our overall promotional programme to build awareness of what Northern Ireland has to offer. France is one of our top four tourism markets and I am confident that this visit will inspire and enthuse this group to sell Northern Ireland even more effectively in the future”.

  Willie Lougheed, Tourism NI (right), at Glenarm Castle, taking a photo of French business tourism buyers; Caroline Phelan, Tourism Ireland (fifth right); and Adrian Morrow, Glenarm Castle (fourth right).

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, we welcomed almost 1.8 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £446 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.