Coach And Tour Operators Buy Into Local Tourism
The GB Coach and Group Tour Operators Workshop, which took place today (Friday 14th September) at the Hilton Hotel Belfast, brought together local tourism industry suppliers and GB buyers interested in putting Northern Ireland into their portfolio of destinations.
With a 56% increase in GB operators and 33% rise in local trade attending, there has been a sharp upsurge in interest, reflecting the current buoyant perceptions of Northern Ireland tourism.
NITB Chairman, Howard Hastings and the Dean of Belfast John Mann, welcomed the delegation to Northern Ireland at a reception dinner in Belfast Cathedral last week.
Howard Hastings, NITB Chairman said: ?The workshop, which is now in its fourth year, offers an excellent opportunity for our local tourism providers to showcase a high quality product to GB operators.
It affords the industry the chance to demonstrate how much we have achieved over the last number of years through investment in the tourism infrastructure. From our world class visitor attractions, value for money, excellent food and drink, and culture and heritage Northern Ireland now stands out as a unique ?must visit? destination.?
Over the weekend buyers will have the opportunity to experience the Northern Ireland tourism product first-hand on a familiarisation trip highlighting local excellence. Operators will be touring a cross-section of Northern Ireland visiting the Causeway Coast and stopping to enjoy the new Giant?s Causeway Visitor Centre, before crossing the Peace Bridge in Derry.
Welcoming the strong attendance at the GB coach and group tour operators workshop, Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland?s Head of Great Britain, said: ?Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring these Great Britain coach and group tour operators to this workshop, which provides such an important opportunity for our Northern Ireland industry partners. The attendance of these operators is a strong indication that interest in visiting Northern Ireland remains high and that we can, and are, competing with the best destinations in the world.
?Tourism Ireland?s extensive promotional campaigns are underway right now, in all our major markets overseas, with particular focus on our ?top four? markets of Great Britain, the US, Franc e and Germany. In Great Britain alone, our autumn television campaign will reach up to 18.5 million potential holidaymakers highlighting what makes a holiday in Northern Ireland unique and truly memorable. Our message is that there has never been a better time to visit, with great value and terrific things to see and do and these operators will have a chance to experience that at first-hand,? she added.