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15 Apr 2016

International tour operators sample the best of Northern Ireland produce and more …

Top international tour operators have been visiting County Down, where they sampled some our local food produce, as part of a fact-finding trip to Northern Ireland.
Invited here by Tourism Ireland to participate in the annual Meet the Buyer workshop in Belfast, the tour operators enjoyed a post-workshop tour which was themed all around Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink. As well as a visit to the Clandeboye Estate for a breakfast of Clandeboye Estate yoghurt and granola, the group also enjoyed a visit to Neill Wine in Groomsport, where they learned about Northern Ireland’s burgeoning craft beer and cider-making industry. At Rowallane, the tour operators watched a soda bread-making demo, before visiting an oyster farm at Killough.

The visit of the international tour operators was organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Tourism NI.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring over 100 top international tourism buyers to Northern Ireland for Meet the Buyer 2016 – including 22 buyers who were here for the first time. The high attendance of these buyers from around the world is a strong indication that interest in visiting Northern Ireland remains high and that it can, and is, competing with the best destinations in the world.

“Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way across the world, to highlight Northern Ireland and grow tourism in 2016 and beyond. With our spectacular scenery, world-class visitor attractions and good value accommodation, Northern Ireland truly is a ‘must see’ destination. Our message to is that there has never been a better time to come and visit Northern Ireland.”

  International tour operators with Linda Duncan, Tourism Ireland (left); Bryan Boggs, Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt (sixth left); and Jonathan Sargeant, Tourism Ireland (right), at Clandeboye Estate, Co Down.

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 2015, we welcomed about 1.9 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £454 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2015, attracted about 16.6 million visitors.