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08 Apr 2019

International tour operators discover Game of Thrones and more …

Top international tour operators have been discovering Northern Ireland and our Game of Thrones filming locations, as part of a fact-finding trip to Northern Ireland. The tour operators were invited here by Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with Tourism NI – to participate in the annual Meet the Buyer workshop in ICC Belfast. After the workshop, they enjoyed a Game of Thrones-themed tour.
The tour operators enjoyed a ‘Winterfell’ Game of Thrones experience at Castle Ward and a Game of Thrones banquet at The Cuan in Strangford. They also took part in some Game of Thrones activities on the Causeway Coast – including ‘Game of Thrones on the Run’ and ‘Game of Thrones Jump Onboard’ and visited the new Game of Thrones Touring Exhibition at TEC Belfast.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring 147 top international tourism buyers to Northern Ireland for Meet the Buyer 2019 – including 39 buyers who are here for the first time – which provides such an important opportunity for our local tourism partners. 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 this year. We are taking every opportunity to leverage the exciting events happening over the coming months – including The 148th Open at Royal Portrush. And, next week, we will unveil our new campaign around the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. Our message to the visiting tourism buyers is that there has never been a better time to visit Northern Ireland.”
International tour operators at Castle Ward, Co Down, with Alesia McComish (left) and Orla Howells (second left), both Tourism 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 65,000 jobs.
  • In 2018, we welcomed around 2.23 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of £589 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 20.3 million visitors in 2018.