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27 Mar 2017

International tour operators learn all about Northern Ireland’s Game of Thrones connections

Top international tour operators have been discovering some of our famous Game of Thrones filming locations, 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 enjoyed a pre-workshop tour themed around Game of Thrones. 

The group visited Co Down, stopping off at various places associated with Game of Thrones, including Castle Ward, Inch Abbey and Tollymore Forest Park; they also enjoyed a special Game of Thrones banquet at The Cuan in Strangford. In Co Antrim, the tour operators visited the iconic Dark Hedges and spent time at other filming locations along the Causeway Coastal Route – including Ballintoy, the caves at Cushendun and Carnlough Harbour.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring 150 top international tourism buyers to Northern Ireland for Meet the Buyer 2017. The high 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.”

  Colleen McEnroy, Tourism Ireland (front, left); Gillian Spratt, Tourism NI (front, centre); and international tour operators at Carnlough Harbour.

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.