A group of leading travel agents and tour operators from Australia and New Zealand visited Northern Ireland, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Emirates.
The travel professionals are all top sellers – and have been responsible for bring large volumes of business to Northern Ireland.
The aim of the visit was to showcase some of the many experiences on offer in Northern Ireland for holidaymakers – and to enthuse the travel agents even more about the destination, so that when they return home they will be better equipped to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.
The group’s itinerary included a drive along the Causeway Coastal Route, with stops at Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and the Giant’s Causeway. The travel agents also spent time in Belfast, visiting Titanic Belfast and enjoying a Belfast city tour. Their itinerary was designed by Tourism NI.
Diane Butler, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Australia and New Zealand, said: “Travel agents and tour operators continue to be important in planning and booking holidays in Australia and New Zealand, so working with the travel trade is a key element of our promotional activity. We were delighted that these travel professionals have taken time out of their busy schedules to come and visit Northern Ireland. There is really no substitute for being able to come and experience what’s on offer at first-hand; our aim is that when these travel agents and tour operators return home, they will be even more enthusiastic about the destination, helping to secure a greater share of their business for the Causeway Coast and Northern Ireland.”
Tourism Ireland recently unveiled a new, three-year strategy to grow visitor numbers from Australia. The strategy sets out challenging and ambitious targets which will see the number of Australian visitors grow by +20%, by the end of 2017. Diane Butler said: “Building on the strong performance of recent years, and the increased number of one-stop flights via the Middle East, we have set challenging targets for the 2015-2017 period. I am confident that our new, focused strategy will deliver on the targets we have set for growth in Australian visitors, between now and 2017.”