A group of top Canadian travel agents has been visiting Northern Ireland this week. The group flew to Dublin from Halifax in Nova Scotia, on the seasonal ASL Airlines flight and are here as guests of Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI. Over the weekend, the group celebrated Canada Day (on 1 July), marking the country's 150th birthday.
The travel agents are on a fact-finding visit, to sample at first-hand the superb experiences on offer for Canadian holidaymakers in Northern Ireland and elsewhere around the island of Ireland. The aim is to really enthuse them about what’s on offer here, so that when they return home they will be even better informed to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.
Following a packed itinerary, the group visited the Ulster American Folk Park, before heading on to the walled city of Derry for a walking tour, including the Tower Museum and the Guildhall. The next day saw them travel along the Causeway Coastal Route, enjoying stops at the Giant’s Causeway, Ballintoy Harbour and the Dark Hedges before finishing the visit in Belfast.
Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in Canada, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite these top Canadian travel agents to visit Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland, to see and experience some of our many great attractions. It’s also an excellent opportunity to highlight the direct ASL Airlines flight from Halifax to Dublin to these travel professionals.”
In 2016, we welcomed almost 54,000 Canadian visitors to Northern Ireland, up +12% on 2015. Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2017, to ensure that growth continues. A key element of that programme includes working with the influential Canadian travel trade.
Canadian travel agents at the Ulster American Folk Park near Omagh, with Kate Smith, Tourism Ireland (left); Julie McKelvey, tour guide at the Folk Park; and Virginia Moriarty, Blue Badge tour guide (third 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 61,300 jobs.
- In 2016, we welcomed a record 2.1 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of over £543 million.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted about 19.37 million visitors in 2016.