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Targeting GB Tourists for Northern Ireland


Twenty-seven tourism enterprises from around Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland – including SS Nomadic; Crumlin Road Gaol; Park Avenue Hotel; Hastings Hotels; Visit Belfast and National Museums Northern Ireland – travelled to Birmingham last week, to join Tourism Ireland for this year’s ‘Best of Britain and Ireland’ (BoBI) travel trade fair.

BoBI is a B2B event for the travel trade in Britain – attracting more than 2,000 influential coach tour operators, group travel organisers, business and educational travel organisers. The two-day event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating companies to network and do business face-to-face with key GB decision-makers.

Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “Great Britain is one of our largest markets and 2013 saw a welcome return to growth of +5.6% in GB visitors. Our ‘GB Path to Growth’ strategy will see the number of visitors to the island of Ireland from GB increase by +20% i.e. an additional 200,000 holiday visitors per year by 2016. We are targeting new audiences, including an older audience wishing to explore new places and broaden their minds (called ‘culturally curious’) and the younger, fun-loving set, who are looking for an exciting time in a vibrant destination (‘social energisers’).

“Our presence at this year’s BoBI was also an excellent opportunity to highlight the Causeway Coastal Route and the Wild Atlantic Way to the influential coach operators and group travel organisers in attendance; our objective was to enthuse them about the destination, so that they will encourage their clients to come and experience Northern Ireland for themselves.”

About 14 million people in GB will see television advertising for Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland this spring; an estimated 17 million people will see ads and promotions in the print and online versions of major newspapers like the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph; and positive publicity worth over £26million in equivalent advertising terms will be generated by Tourism Ireland in GB this year. Extensive e-marketing and social media activity, golf and business tourism promotions will also target millions of potential visitors living in Great Britain.

Pictured on the Tourism Ireland stand at the BoBI (Best of Britain and Ireland) travel trade show held in Birmingham recently are Ginny Murray, SS Nomadic; Joanna Quinn, Crumlin Road Gaol; Katrina Martin, Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast; Aileen Martin, Hastings Hotels; Sara Graham, Visit Belfast; Karen White, National Museums NI; Debbie Moran, Tourism Ireland and Diane Shaw, National Museums NI.


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