Italian travel professionals check out Belfast and Causeway Coast
Representatives of one of Italy’s biggest online tour operators, Travelcube, together with some of its top-producing travel agents, have been visiting Northern Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus.
The group’s whistle-stop tour included a drive along the Causeway Coastal Route, with visits to Carrickfergus Castle and The Gobbins. They also spent time in Belfast, visiting Titanic Belfast and enjoying a tour of the city. Their itinerary was designed by Tourism NI.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Italy, said: “There is really no substitute for being able to come here and experience what Northern Ireland has to offer at first-hand; our aim is to really enthuse the travel agents about the destination, so that when they return home, they will be even better informed to advise their clients when planning and booking their trip to Northern Ireland.”
Tourism Ireland recently unveiled a new strategy, setting out challenging and ambitious targets to grow visitor numbers from Italy between now and 2020.
Niamh Kinsella continued: “In 2014, visitor numbers from Italy to Northern Ireland grew by +13%; and, with a new direct Ryanair flight from Milan to Belfast beginning in September, as well as the legacy effect of the Giro d’Italia, we believe that this is a market of considerable potential for Northern Ireland over the coming years.
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 www.Ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2015, Ireland.com attracted about 16.6 million visitors.