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23 Feb 2016

Middle East connection for Northern Ireland

A group of top tour operators from the United Arab Emirates is visiting Northern Ireland this week – as guests of Tourism Ireland and Etihad Airways.

The tour operators are all specialists in individual travel and the aim of their 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 programmes.

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.

Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Australia and Developing Markets, said: “We are delighted to welcome these tour operators to Northern Ireland this week. We believe it is extremely important for 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.”

Amanda Burns continued: “The latest NISRA figures confirm that visitors from overseas to Northern Ireland increased by +11% in the first nine months of 2015. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that growth continues. We have a really extensive programme of promotions under way this year – highlighting Northern Ireland’s Year of Food, The Gobbins Cliff Path and other iconic experiences like Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway and our unique National Trust properties. We are also promoting Northern Ireland as a top golf and business tourism destination.”

  Tour operators from the UAE taking a ‘selfie’ during a tour of Derry’s historic walls, with Orlaith Meenan, Visit Derry (left); tour guide David McAnirn (back, centre); and Garvin Kerr, Martin McCrossan Tours (second 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 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.


Previous Press Release

22 Feb 2016

Ireland says ‘bonjour’ in Nice