Derry hosts major tourism buyers event

Pictured (L-R) are Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland; Councillor Kevin Campbell, Mayor of Derry; Rosannah Cherrill, Travco; Howard Hastings, Northern Ireland Tourist Board Chairman.
Pictured (L-R) are Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland; Councillor Kevin Campbell, Mayor of Derry; Rosannah Cherrill, Travco; Howard Hastings, Northern Ireland Tourist Board Chairman.

A major tourism workshop bringing together tourist operators from across the world with local tourism providers has been held in Derry.

Organised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) and Tourism Ireland, yesterday’s event at The Venue, aimed to provide a unique opportunity for the tourism trade in the north to meet face-to-face with key buyers and present to some of the travel world’s most influential decision makers.

Alan Clarke, NITB Chief Executive said the workshop’s key aim was to “to develop ongoing tourism business in Northern Ireland.”

“This is a major event in the tourism calendar at which NITB facilitates a series of face to face sales meetings between the Northern Ireland tourism industry and international tour operators who have been handpicked as those offering the greatest potential.

“As UK City of Culture for 2013, Derry~Londonderry’s year is packed with stimulating and entertaining events and activity, with high expectations of increased visitor numbers and spend. We want our international visitors to experience the buzz in this unique city.”

“In addition to staging this event, NITB has committed funding towards specific events within the UK City of Culture 2013 programme as well as six additional events as part of our standard events scheme. NITB has also provided funding to deliver training of volunteers and developed a bespoke Derry~Londonderry City of Culture marketing campaign for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland”.

“We are looking forward to a fantastic UK City of Culture year, a great Meet the Buyer 2013 and another great year for building Northern Ireland’s reputation as a tourism destination.”

Delegates from across 18 countries were given an insight into some of the key events on Derry’s 2013 calendar including the All Ireland Fleadh, Walled City Tattoo, the Return of Colmcille and the Turner Prize .

They were also briefed about upcoming opportunities in the north including the G8 summit in Fermanagh, the World Police and Fire Games in August and the Giro D’Italia cycle race coming up in 2014.

Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland said he was delighted to welcome so many delegates to the workshop.

“This year, Tourism Ireland is working hard to build on the increased levels of awareness and interest in Northern Ireland generated around the world by ni2012, including the hugely successful opening of Titanic Belfast (which welcomed over 807,000 visitors in its first year of trading) and the new visitor centre at the Giant’s Causeway.

“Our promotions are highlighting Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture and we are also capitalising on opportunities around the G8 Summit in Fermanagh and the World Police and Fire Games. With upcoming events like the Turner Prize, the Fleadh Cheoil and the Return of Colmcille, we are telling people everywhere that there has never been a better time to come and visit Derry~Londonderry and Northern Ireland.”

Delegates are also visiting Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway, , Fermanagh, Tyrone, Strangford and the Mournes over the coming days.