NITB INSPIRES GREAT GROUP DAYS OUT

Pictured at the Days Out Fair event is (l to r) Boyd Rankin, NIEA; Hugh Rice, NITGA; Karen Magill, FPTNI; Willie Lougheed, NITB and Lemuel Black, NIEA.

Pictured at the Days Out Fair event is (l to r) Boyd Rankin, NIEA; Hugh Rice, NITGA; Karen Magill, FPTNI; Willie Lougheed, NITB and Lemuel Black, NIEA.

AN inspirational collection of group day visit ideas was showcased at this year’s popular ‘Days Out Fair’.

It was organised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) in partnership with the Federation of Passenger Transport Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Guide Association (NITGA) on Saturday February 15 at the iconic visitor attraction, Titanic Belfast.

The ‘Days Out Fair’ was attended by over 600 group trip organisers from Counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Londonderry, Tyrone and Fermanagh to showcase their unique offering and included National Museums Northern Ireland, National Trust, Head Hunters Barber Shop & Museum and Downpatrick Railway Preservation Society, amongst others.

The exhibitors introduced a variety of inspirational days out of interest to a mix of groups from church, sports and social clubs to community groups, retirement associations and many more to help encourage fun group outings in Northern Ireland.

The Fair gave the local tourism industry the opportunity to meet a targeted audience which can deliver business growth through their group day trips in 2014 and familiarise themselves with the quality and selection of attractions available on their doorstep.

NITB Business 2 Business Manager Willie Lougheed says the ‘Days Out Fair’ is a welcome platform for many of Northern Ireland’s finest attractions, like The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, to hidden gems, like Ballintoy Harbour.

“The ‘Days Out Fair’ is a unique platform for Northern Ireland’s key visitor attractions who showcased their product to a huge number of people helping to generate interest and potential visitors to their areas. Our stunning gardens, historic monuments, cultural experiences, heritage sites and special interest tours came to life as the people who know them best explained just why they are so special,” said Willie.

“2014 is set to be another standout year for tourism here and it’s extremely encouraging to see such passion and commitment from every exhibitor who attended this year’s Fair,” he added.

NITB worked in partnership with the Federation of Passenger Transport in Northern Ireland (FPTNI) to provide complimentary coach transport from designated departure points and the Northern Ireland Tour Guide Association (NITGA) to ensure that a qualified guide was on board each of the coaches to deliver useful information to the groups on the areas and visitor attractions within them.

Karen Magill, Chief Executive of Federation of Passenger Transport NI (FPTNI), said: “The Days Out Fair has proved to be a valuable opportunity for group trip organisers to learn more about the great visitor itineraries on offer throughout Northern Ireland. Together with our partners in the guiding sector, attractions and service providers we spoke to many hundreds of people.

“The event attracted huge numbers including local clubs and societies which gave us the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise with group organisers across Northern Ireland,” added Karen.

For further information on group days out in Northern Ireland visit www.discovernorthernireland.com/groups.

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