Lonely Planet’s number one destination sparks tourist drive

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Lonely Planet recently named the Causeway Coastal Route and Belfast as the as the #1 Best Region To Visit in 2018 and the tourism team at Causeway Coast and Glens has taken to the road to maximise the opportunities from this accolade.

Consumer shows at CMT Stuttgart, Holiday World Belfast and Dublin and the Holiday Show Shannon put the team in contact with up over 100,000 potential visitors in the key Domestic, Republic of Ireland and German markets. The National Trust, The Lodge Hotel, The Causeway Hotel, Rathlin Island Ferry Company and the Causeway Coast and Glens partnered Council to highlight their offerings for the 2018 season.

On the trade front, Causeway Coast and Glens attended Celtic Connections, Glasgow in association with Tourism Ireland, where they met with tour operators and travel agents to promote the full range of attractions, activities and accommodation in the area.

Representatives were joined by Lonely Planet writer, Fionn Davenport who was on hand to promote the reasons why the region is a ‘must see’ stating that it consistently exceeds expectations. Also in January, 35 one-to-one sales meetings with global buyers were held at the Britain & Ireland Marketplace event in London.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE said: “Tourism is a crucial part of our local economy, with overnight trips contributing in excess of £138 million per annum and supporting almost 5,000 jobs.

“We are committed to promoting the unique attractions and characteristics of our destination and these shows provide an important avenue for engagement and put the Causeway Coast and Glens firmly in focus with visitors, travel agents and tour operators.”

Short-term plans include further trade promotions at the Incoming Tour Operator Association Workshop in Dublin and the Visit Britain showcase event ExploreGB where the tourism team will have the opportunity to have face to face meetings with up to 75 travel and tour operators.

Causeway Coast and Glens will also be partnering with the National Trust to attend ITB Berlin, which is the biggest trade and consumer event featuring travel outside of World Travel Market.

Destination Manager Kerrie McGonigle said: “2018 is set to be an important year for our tourism sector, thanks to our prestigious Lonely Planet designation and the run up to The 148th Open at Royal Portrush in 2019.

“The Republic of Ireland, GB and Germany are key markets for us, and we are working in partnership with our tourism trade and other stakeholders to capitalise on its potential through our advertising and promotional activity.

“We are very excited about our forthcoming cooperative campaign with P&O Ferries and Tourism Ireland, featuring print and online advertisements designed to attract visitors from Scotland and the North East of England.

“Our aim is to deliver further success in 2018 and beyond and to ensure that Causeway Coast and Glens grows its share of international visitors.”