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24 Nov 2015

French connection for Northern Ireland

Top French tour operators visit Belfast, Causeway Coast and Londonderry tourist attractions

A group of top French tour operators is visiting Northern Ireland this week – as guests of Tourism Ireland.

The tour operators, all specialists in individual travel, are based in Paris, Grenoble, Bordeaux and other cities around France. Their itinerary – designed by Tourism NI – includes a visit to Titanic Belfast, the Gobbins Cliff Walk, Islandmagee and the Giant’s Causeway, as well as a walking tour of the historic walls of the city of Derry.

The aim of the tour operators’ visit is to enthuse them about the destination – so they will extend the Northern Ireland content of their programmes, or include Northern Ireland for the first time in their 2016 programmes.

Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Manager of Southern Europe, said: “We are delighted to welcome these French tour operators to Northern Ireland this week. We believe it is extremely important for travel decision-makers such as these to experience for themselves the high standard of our tourism offering and the many things to see and do in Northern Ireland.”

Monica MacLaverty continued: “The latest NISRA figures confirm that visitors from Mainland Europe to Northern Ireland increased by +14% in the first half of 2015. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that growth continues. We have a really extensive programme of promotions under way right now – aimed at boosting late-season travel to Ireland from France and elsewhere around the globe.”

  French tour operators taking in the view at The Gobbins Cliff Walk, with Rosendo Castellanos, Tourism Ireland (centre), and tour guide Michael Cooper (left).

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 an estimated 1.8 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £446 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which will attract more than 16 million visitors in 2015.