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27 Mar 2019

Northern Ireland business tourism takes a bite out of the Big Apple!

Business tourism operators from Northern Ireland were in New York this week – meeting with key American business tourism buyers, through a programme of sales calls and networking events. The visit was coordinated by Tourism Ireland in New York, in conjunction with Tourism NI.

They attended this year’s SMU (Successful Meetings University) International – a three-day event which was attended by more than 100 top American MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) professionals, all on the lookout for exciting and unique business tourism destinations. Tourism Ireland also arranged a special Northern Ireland evening in The Dead Rabbit, the well-known bar owned by Belfast duo Se├ín Muldoon and Jack McGarry.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted that our partners from Northern Ireland were in New York this week, meeting with key decision-makers in this sector. Business tourism is an important, high yield sector and Tourism Ireland is undertaking a busy programme of promotions throughout 2019, highlighting our world-class venues and facilities, ease of access from North America and the unique experiences on offer in Northern Ireland.”

Business tourism is the most lucrative form of tourism, with visitors travelling to Northern Ireland for business purposes spending almost three times more than the average visitor. 
  Pictured before a Northern Ireland event in The Dead Rabbit in New York are (front, l-r) Jonathan Campbell, Titanic Belfast; Joanne Taylor, Tourism NI; and Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland; (back, l-r) Paula Stephens, The Merchant Hotel; Catriona Lavery, Hastings Hotels; Cynthia Lavery, Hosts Global; Leigh Heggarty, Galgorm Resort and Spa; Caoimhe Rice, Moloney & Kelly; Melita Williams, Bespoke Belfast; and Paul McDonagh, 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.