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13 Jun 2019

Tourism Ireland board meets in Ballymena

Galgorm Resort & Spa was the venue for the June board meeting of Tourism Ireland, which took place today (13 June). The board members also met with colleagues from the Tourism NI board, to discuss the upcoming summer season and the extensive programme of promotions which Tourism Ireland is undertaking to highlight Northern Ireland around the world this year. Officials from the Department for the Economy also attended.
Speaking after the board meeting, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be in Ballymena for this month’s board meeting. Recent figures published by NISRA confirm that we welcomed a record 2.218 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland in 2018.
“Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that tourism growth from overseas continues. We are rolling out an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2019, to highlight Northern Ireland around the world. We are pulling out all the stops to leverage the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities of the final series of Game of Thrones and The 148th Open at Royal Portrush. And we continue to showcase iconic experiences like Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway and our unique National Trust properties. Our aim is to position Northern Ireland as a year-round, ‘must visit’ destination and to ensure that the contribution of overseas tourism to the local economy continues to expand.”
Overseas tourism delivers over £560 million per year for the Northern Ireland economy, helping to sustain over 65,000 jobs in local communities.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI; Joan O’Shaughnessy, Chairman of Tourism Ireland; and Terence Brannigan, Chairman of Tourism NI, before the Tourism Ireland board meeting.

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.