Ten (10) travel agents from Germany, Switzerland and Austria have been visiting Northern Ireland. They came ‘top of the class’ in Tourism Ireland’s 2016 online training programme – designed to help them sell holidays to Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland – and were rewarded with the opportunity to come and discover Northern Ireland at first-hand.
The visiting group included decision-makers from leading travel agents and tour operators in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Their itinerary, designed by Tourism NI, included a chance to explore Belfast, the Causeway Coastal Route and to enjoy a Game of Thrones experience at Castle Ward in Co Down.
Zoe Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Central Europe, said: “As a reward for completing their online travel agency training programme, we invited this group of agents to come and experience some of the many things to see and do in Northern Ireland. Fact-finding visits like this are an important element of our overall promotional programme in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, providing an excellent opportunity to showcase the many things to see and do in Northern Ireland to key travel decision-makers. Our aim is that when they return home, they will be even more enthusiastic about the destination and better equipped to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.
“2015 was a record year for overseas visitors to Northern Ireland and growth has continued in 2016, with visitor numbers up +8% for the first quarter. We’ve had an extensive programme of promotions under way throughout the year, which includes working with key tour operators and travel agents in Germany and elsewhere around Mainland Europe.”
Lena Campbell, Tourism Ireland (front, second right) with German, Swiss and Austrian travel agents, enjoying the Winterfell Experience at Castle Ward, during their fact-finding visit to Northern Ireland.
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 almost 2 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £484 million.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted more than 16.6 million visitors in 2015.