International tour operators learn all about Game of Thrones and more...

Pictured here are the tour operators enjoying the 'experience' at the Dark Hedges. INBM17-16S
Pictured here are the tour operators enjoying the 'experience' at the Dark Hedges. INBM17-16S

Top international tour operators have been discovering some of our famous Game of Thrones filming locations, as part of a fact-finding trip to Northern Ireland.

Invited here by Tourism Ireland to participate in the annual Meet the Buyer workshop in Belfast, the tour operators enjoyed a post-workshop tour themed all around Game of Thrones. As well as a visit to the iconic Dark Hedges, the group also spent time at other filming locations, including Ballintoy, the caves at Cushendun and Carncastle. The group also travelled around Co Down, stopping off at various places associated with Game of Thrones, including Castle Ward, Inch Abbey and Tollymore Forest Park.

The visit of the international tour operators was organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Tourism NI.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring over 100 top international tourism buyers to Northern Ireland for Meet the Buyer 2016 – including 22 buyers who were here for the first time. The high attendance of these buyers from around the world is a strong indication that interest in visiting Northern Ireland remains high and that it can, and is, competing with the best destinations in the world.

“Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way across the world, to highlight Northern Ireland and grow tourism in 2016 and beyond. As well as highlighting Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink, we continue to promote the Causeway Coastal Route and The Gobbins Cliff Path, as well as other iconic experiences such as Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway and, of course, our world-class golf. And our new, upcoming Game of Thrones campaign will showcase Northern Ireland once again in a unique way on the global stage. With our spectacular scenery, world-class visitor attractions and good value accommodation, Northern Ireland truly is a ‘must see’ destination. Our message to all the tourism buyers is that there has never been a better time to come and visit Northern Ireland.”