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27 Mar 2017

International tour operators ‘at home’ at Seamus Heaney HomePlace

Top international tour operators have been enjoying some of our world-class visitor attractions and experiences, as part of a fact-finding trip to Northern Ireland. Invited here by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Tourism NI to participate in the annual Meet the Buyer workshop in the Belfast Waterfront, the tour operators were taking part in a pre-workshop tour titled ‘People, Places and Politics’.

As well as visiting the Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, the group also enjoyed tours of Hillsborough Castle, Parliament Buildings at Stormont, the Crumlin Road Gaol and Mount Stewart House and Gardens. They also spent time learning about CS Lewis, with a stop at the CS Lewis Square in East Belfast, during a city tour. 

Niall Gibbons, CEO of bring 150 top international tourism buyers to Northern Ireland for Meet the Buyer 2017. The high Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to attendance of these buyers from around the world is a strong indication that interest in visiting Northern Ireland remains high and that it can, and is, competing with the best destinations in the world.

“Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way across the world, to highlight Northern Ireland and continue to grow tourism in 2017. We are promoting the Causeway Coastal Route, as well as other iconic experiences like Titanic Belfast and, of course, our world-class golf. With our spectacular scenery, world-class visitor attractions and good value accommodation, Northern Ireland truly is a ‘must see’ destination. Our message is that there has never been a better time to come and visit Northern Ireland.”
  International tour operators at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy.

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 2016, we welcomed approximately 2.1 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £527 million. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted about 19.37 million visitors in 2016.