NI announced as global tourism destination

  • As well as being named one of the world’s top-ranking cities for tech and business, Belfast’s tourism and hospitality offering is now also firmly on the international stage.

    This is the conclusion of The Travel Corporation (TTC) who chose Northern Ireland’s capital for its annual sales conference held this week. 

    Founded almost a hundred years ago, TTC is one of the world’s leading travel companies with a portfolio of 42 multi-award-winning brands.

    These include household names such as Trafalgar, Brendan Vacations, Insight Vacations, Contiki, Costsaver, and Luxury Gold. It organises unique holiday experiences for 1.9 million travellers every year in more than 70 countries.

    Supported by Tourism NI as part of the conference programme, sales teams from the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Singapore, London, Australia and New Zealand, enjoyed the best of local food, drink and entertainment. They were also treated to street parties in the Cathedral Quarter and visits to top attractions like Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway and St Anne’s Cathedral.

    John McGrillen, Chief Executive, Tourism NI said: “This was a unique opportunity to let international delegates experience first-hand what Northern Ireland has to offer as a place to visit. I am pleased that our tourist attractions, bars and restaurants and our people grasped that opportunity and provided an experience that went well beyond all expectations.

    “This experience will allow these companies to sell Northern Ireland with confidence and personal passion in the global marketplace. Our ambition to grow tourism to a £2 billion industry by 2030 will be achieved by growing the number of international visitors choosing to come here. Having this conference in Belfast is an important step in realising that ambition.”

    Brett Tollman, Chief Executive, TTC added:“[We give] our heartfelt thanks to the people of Northern Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland – and to all of the fantastic attractions and venues that we have had the pleasure of experiencing. You have all extended your famous brand of hospitality and humour to the TTC family over the course of our three Global Sales Staff Conferences for five of our immersive brands this week.”

    “We are all very grateful and appreciative to John McGrillen and his team for encouraging us to come here this year for our conferences. It has been an unforgettable visit and opportunity to familiarise ourselves with this stimulating and very enjoyable destination, and to open our hearts and minds further to your very warm and welcoming residents.  We will all take those experiences and memories home with us and work even harder in promoting Northern Ireland to our travel agent partners and guests around the world. Thank you.”

    Tourism NI has been increasingly incorporating new technologies into their marketing strategies to help gain this new prolific status. The Open in Portrush this summer saw their promotion of a virtual reality (VR) headset which allows viewers to venture all over the country from the comfort of their seats, and in January 2019 their AI Challenge offered £100,000 for tourism tech solutions.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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