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18 Sep 2017

GB tour operators ‘at home’ in Heaney HomePlace

Twenty-two (22) GB coach and group tour operators have been exploring Northern Ireland – as guests of Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI. They were visiting Northern Ireland prior to taking part in a B2B workshop today (Monday, 18 September), where they are meeting with tourism providers from across the island of Ireland to negotiate for their 2018 programmes.
The tour operators were here to experience at first-hand the wealth of things to see and do in Northern Ireland for visitors travelling as part of a coach tour party. As well as the stop at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, their action-packed itinerary included a Belfast food tour, Carrickfergus Castle, Glenarm Castle and Londonderry, where they explored the city’s historic walls on a walking tour and visited the Guildhall and Walled City Brewery.

Julie Wakely, Tourism Ireland’s Head of GB, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of coach and group tour operators to come and visit. There really is no substitute for being able to see what Northern Ireland has to offer at first-hand; our aim is to encourage them to extend the Northern Ireland content of their existing programmes, or to include Northern Ireland for the first time in their 2018 programmes. 

“Tourism Ireland is rolling out a busy programme of promotions this autumn – aimed at boosting late-season travel to Northern Ireland and at positioning us well for 2018.”

  GB coach and group tour operators at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, with Caroline Mulligan (standing, left) and Linda Duncan (standing, second left), both Tourism Ireland; and Mary Magee, Mid Ulster District Council (right).

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, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted about 19.37 million visitors in 2016.