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15 May 2019

Dutch travel agents choose Belfast!

Hundreds of top Dutch travel professionals set to descend on Northern Ireland to attend annual congress

Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI are delighted to announce that the annual congress of the Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (ANVR) will take place in Belfast, in November.

Following a meeting in Amsterdam in March, representatives of Tourism Ireland in Amsterdam and from ANVR travelled to Belfast last month, to meet with the Tourism NI team, to secure this prestigious conference for the city. The congress is ANVR’s annual event and will take place over four days, from 21 to 24 November. Around 220 Dutch travel professionals – including travel agents, tour operators and group organisers, as well as travel journalists – are expected to participate. 

As well as generating valuable off-season business, giving the local economy a significant boost during a traditionally quieter time, the annual congress helps boost Dutch visitor numbers to the host destination. Delegates will take part in pre- and post-congress tours – sampling some of the very best of Northern Ireland’s hospitality, visitor attractions and experiences.

There is good access between the Netherlands and Northern Ireland, with both KLM and easyJet operating direct flights from Amsterdam to Belfast.

Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Markets, said: “It is a tremendous honour for Belfast to have won this prestigious event in the face of competition from other destinations.  Tourism Ireland is delighted to have played its part in securing this event, which confirms Belfast as a world-class business and conference destination. It’s a unique opportunity to show these influential travel agents and tour operators what’s on offer here and will help to increase the number of Dutch holidaymakers to Northern Ireland in 2020 and beyond.”

John McGrillen, Chief Executive of Tourism NI, said: “Tourism NI welcomes the announcement that Belfast will play host to the annual congress of the Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators in November. We are not only delighted that the association has chosen Belfast as the host of its annual congress, boosting conference business to the city, but also that they will be experiencing what makes Northern Ireland a stand-out destination for international leisure visitors.”

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, with 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world; attracted 20.3 million visitors in 2018.

Previous Press Release

13 May 2019

Spanish travel writers venture ‘into the West’