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08 Apr 2019

International tour operators discover Londonderry

Top international tour operators have been enjoying a visit to Londonderry, 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 tour along the Causeway Coastal Route and a sightseeing visit to Derry.
The tour operators visited Glenarm Castle and took the ferry across to Rathlin Island. The following day, they spent time in Derry – enjoying a walking tour of the city’s historic walls and visiting the Guildhall, the Siege Museum, and the Museum of Free Derry. En route back to Belfast, the operators called in at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy.
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 enjoy a walking tour of the walled city of Derry with Charlene McCrossan, Derry City Tours (left); Maria McDermott, Visit Derry (second left); and Mark Rodgers, Dalriada Kingdom Tours (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 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.