International travel buyers from China, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden and GB have been visiting the north coast.
Invited here by Tourism Ireland, the buyers had all attended the inaugural ExploreGB workshop in Ascot, Berkshire, and then travelled on to Northern Ireland, to check out some of the many things to see and do here.
The aim of the visit was to showcase Northern Ireland to the international buyers – and help to deliver additional itineraries and brochure pages featuring the destination.
The group’s four-day itinerary – created by Tourism NI – included a city tour of Belfast, with visits to various tourist sites like Titanic Belfast, Crumlin Road Gaol and Queen’s University.
They travelled along the Causeway Coastal Route, with stops at the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge and the Giant’s Causeway, as well as at Bushmills Distillery. In Londonderry, they took a walking tour of the city’s historic walls and visited the Tower Museum. Their final day was spent in Co Down, learning about Saint Patrick with a tour of Down Cathedral and the Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this influential group of travel professionals to Northern Ireland, so they could experience our superb tourism offering at first hand. Fact-finding visits like this are a valuable element of Tourism Ireland’s overall promotional effort; they provide an excellent opportunity for us to position Northern Ireland as a ‘must see’ destination to influential travel professionals. With our spectacular scenery, world-class visitor attractions and good value accommodation, our message is that there has never been a better time to come and visit Northern Ireland.”
Tourism Ireland is rolling out an extensive programme of promotional activity to highlight Northern Ireland around the world in 2015. The organisation will continue to highlight the Causeway Coastal Route throughout the year, as well as upcoming events like the Irish Open at Royal County Down and the Tall Ships in Belfast.