More than 30 global tour operators based in the Republic of Ireland are in Belfast this week for the Incoming Tour Operators Association's (ITOA) annual industry workshop and dinner, hosted by Tourism NI.
This is the second consecutive year that ITOA has held its flagship networking platform in Belfast, with over 100 Northern Ireland industry representatives in attendance.
The event offers local industry representatives the opportunity to market their products and experiences directly to Republic of Ireland tour operators who can package and promote their business to over 4,000 global travel trade partners and customers.
In 2018, ITOA led to over 743,500 overseas holiday and business visitors travelling to the island of Ireland, with an associated spend of €595 million.
"An Excellent Opportunity"
In a statement on Tourism NI's website, Tourism NI director of marketing Naomi Waite said, "We are delighted to host ITOA's ROI based tour operators and show them first-hand what Northern Ireland has to offer as an international visitor destination. Our overall ambition is to grow tourism to a £2 billion industry by 2030, and this will be achieved by increasing the number of international visitors choosing to come here.
"This event is an excellent opportunity for local industry to build connections and promote individual products and services through the workshop and networking opportunities. With the launch of our new destination brand, 'Northern Ireland – Embrace a Giant Spirit', our experience providers have the opportunity to sell Northern Ireland with confidence and personal passion in the global marketplace."
"Signature Sales And Industry Networking Opportunities"
Meanwhile, ITOA president Darren Byrne commented, "ITOA members are delighted to be back in Belfast with our workshop again this year. These events are our signature sales and industry networking opportunities that enable our members to contract and learn more about the destination. The workshop has been sold out for some time now, which truly shows that the NI industry have embraced the giant spirit that they offer in their tourism product.
"We look forward to continuing to increase our engagement and product offering in NI, and the new brand is without doubt another great opportunity to sell Northern Ireland through our members extensive network and partners globally."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.