A record number of local tourism providers have taken part in a series of face-to-face sales meetings with coach and group tour operators as part of a Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) meet the buyer workshop.
Over 50 local accommodation providers and tourist attractions suitable for groups attended the GB and Ireland Coach and Group Operators’ Workshop, which took place last week at Belfast’s Crumlin Road Gaol.
The local providers engaged with a total of 27 key coach and group tour organisers interested in putting Northern Ireland into their portfolio of destinations, including for the first time, four operators from the Republic of Ireland.
The coach and tour operators are responsible for organising short breaks, holiday packages and day trips for their members each year and are handpicked by the NTIB and Tourism Ireland as having the potential to include Northern Ireland in their programming.
The delegates undertook a one-day workshop that included a series of face-to-face sales sessions and business meetings at Crumlin Road Gaol.
The buyers also got the opportunity to experience Northern Ireland tourism products first-hand through familiarisation trips highlighting local excellence.
Held annually since 2009, the meet the buyer workshop has become a significant addition to the Northern Ireland tourism promotional calendar.
There has been an upsurge in interest in the event in recent times, reflecting the current interest and buoyant perceptions of Northern Ireland tourism.
Naomi Waite, NITB Marketing Director, said: “This is the fifth year of this important NITB initiative and it is an excellent opportunity for local providers to get in front of and show Great Britain and Republic of Ireland coach and tour operators the quality of their offerings.
“Given the significance of these markets to Northern Ireland tourism it is pleasing to see both a record number of the industry registering to attend and a gathering momentum and interest from GB and the Republic.”