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03 Jun 2016

Tourism Ireland teams up with KLM to grow tourist numbers to Northern Ireland

9 million travellers targeted in new tourism promotion

Some 9 million travellers worldwide will be targeted over the coming weeks in a new tourism promotion for Northern Ireland. Tourism Ireland has teamed up with KLM to highlight its flight from Amsterdam to Belfast, as well as transit possibilities with KLM via Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to Belfast.

An online article titled ‘Spectacular film locations in Northern Ireland’ features in the June edition of the iFLY KLM Magazine – which will be distributed to the airline’s database of 9 million travellers, in the Netherlands and elsewhere around the world, between now and the end of June. The article includes spectacular images of Game of Thrones® filming locations, including places like the Dark Hedges, Ballintoy, Quintin Castle and Castle Ward. It urges fans of the hit series to visit this place “where mythical castles, endless hills and a jagged coastline have been the set of many scenes”. It describes the Dark Hedges as a “magical place” and “one of the most photographed views in Northern Ireland”.

The promotion also includes a competition, organised in conjunction with Visit Belfast, offering potential visitors the chance to win a trip to Belfast. And Tourism Ireland is also highlighting Belfast – with KLM and Visit Belfast – on the Cityzapper website, where Belfast is the destination of the month.

The KLM flight, which operates daily, is good news for tourism from the Netherlands to Northern Ireland and for tourism from other countries, as Amsterdam is a key European hub, with KLM offering excellent connections via Amsterdam from other European countries, North America, Asia and the Middle East – making it easier than ever for prospective holidaymakers in those markets to get to Northern Ireland. Working closely with airlines and airports to build demand for flights is a key priority for Tourism Ireland.

Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s manager in the Netherlands, said: “We are delighted to partner with KLM to maximise the promotion of their flight from Amsterdam, to help grow tourist numbers to Belfast and Northern Ireland. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism.

“The Netherlands is an increasingly important market for tourism to Northern Ireland. Our natural landscapes and coastline, our culture and heritage greatly appeal to Dutch travellers, who also enjoy opportunities to engage with local people.”

Figures published by NISRA last week confirm that we welcomed an extra +17% visitors from Mainland Europe in 2015. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that growth continues and has an extensive programme of promotions under way in the Netherlands, and elsewhere across Mainland Europe, throughout 2016.


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.