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17 Jun 2019

Spotlight on Belfast International Arts Festival in Canada

The Belfast International Arts Festival was highlighted to top Canadian travel journalists – at an event in downtown Toronto organised by Tourism Ireland. With one in four Canadian visitors including Northern Ireland as part of their island of Ireland vacation, Tourism Ireland’s message to prospective holidaymakers is that the Belfast International Arts Festival offers a unique artistic experience.
The Canadian market has performed strongly for tourism to Northern Ireland in recent years. In 2018, almost 66,000 Canadians visited Northern Ireland (+8% on 2017), spending almost £19 million. In fact, Canada was the fourth largest overseas tourism market for Northern Ireland in 2018 – in terms of visitors, holidaymakers and spend. And, holiday visitor numbers to Northern Ireland from Canada have doubled over the last five years – from 20,111 in 2013 to almost 40,000 in 2018.
This event in Toronto was part of Tourism Ireland’s programme of promotions to highlight Northern Ireland to its ‘culturally curious’ audience in Canada.
Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Canada, said: “We’re delighted to working with the Belfast International Arts Festival, to promote this year’s festival here in Canada. Tourism Ireland’s message for our ‘culturally curious’ audience is that Northern Ireland offers world-class events and festivals. The ‘culturally curious’ travellers are typically independent, active sightseers, looking to visit new places and expand their experience by exploring culture, history and landscapes. Our aim is to encourage this important demographic to travel to Belfast and Northern Ireland this year.”
Richard Wakley, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Belfast International Arts Festival; with Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Canada, at an event for travel journalists in Toronto.

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 2.218 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of over £560 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.

Previous Press Release

14 Jun 2019

Dutch royal visit to provide tourism boost