Tourism Ireland hosted virtual events to promote Northern Ireland in North America and Ireland in Italy this week.
Virtual Northern Ireland Expo
38 tourism companies from Northern Ireland and 11 tour operators from the US and Canada joined Tourism Ireland for a virtual Northern Ireland expo on Wednesday March 24. At the event, Tourism Ireland highlighted the "Northern Ireland Embrace a Giant Spirit" brand to more than 1,400 travel agents across the United States and Canada.
The event opened with a video message from Northern Ireland economy minister Diane Dodds, who welcomed the travel agents to the expo and reminded them about the many reasons for them and their clients to choose Northern Ireland, as soon as the time is right.
An opening reception with content provided by Tourism NI showcased the new brand and some of Northern Ireland's "giant" experiences. This was followed by a series of one-to-one, pre-scheduled video appointments between the tourism companies from Northern Ireland and the North American travel agents. Travel agents remain an important booking channel for North Americans, and the aim was to promote Northern Ireland to these influential travel professionals, who specialise in luxury, outdoor and soft adventure holidays, as well as in small group and multi-generational travel, to position Northern Ireland well for when the time is right to welcome international visitors once again.
"Proud To Support The Iconic 'Embrace A Giant Spirit' Brand"
Dodds stated, "Before COVID-19, we had seen a significant growth in tourism in Northern Ireland and for good reason. We have much to offer including our beautiful unspoilt landscapes, with our food being very much rooted in our magnificent natural surroundings and scenery. Above all, our visitors can be assured of the warmest of welcomes and our famous hospitality, as well as the promise of an unforgettable holiday where you can experience the vibrancy of our cities and towns or relax in our accessible, peaceful and scenic countryside, all in one trip. I am proud to support the iconic 'Embrace A Giant Spirit' brand, and look forward to welcoming our visitors back to Northern Ireland in 2021 when the time is right and for years to come."
Meanwhile, Tourism Ireland's head of North America, Alison Metcalfe, commented, "Tourism Ireland is delighted to launch the 'Northern Ireland Embrace a Giant Spirit' brand to around 1,400 travel advisors from across the United States and Canada today. We are grateful to them for taking the time to join us and our partners from Northern Ireland for our virtual expo to hear all about Northern Ireland and the many 'giant' experiences on offer for their clients.
"Our message for the US and Canadian travel advisors is that, when the time is right, we will have everything ready to welcome North American visitors back to our shores. We'll be assuring them that tourism companies in Northern Ireland have been implementing all the required new health and safety measures, but will still be ready to deliver a fantastic vacation experience for their clients."
Virtual "Meet Ireland 2021" Event
46 tourism companies from Ireland took part in a virtual "Meet Ireland 2021" event that was hosted by Tourism Ireland on Thursday March 25.
"Meet Ireland 2021" was an online workshop organised by Tourism Ireland to allow the tourism companies from Ireland to connect with approximately 100 Italian travel journalists and travel professionals via a series of one-to-one, pre-scheduled video appointments.
The aim of the virtual event was to showcase Ireland to the participating Italian travel journalists and travel professionals to position the country well for when the time is right to welcome Italian, and other international, visitors again.
"A Strong Indication That Interest In Visiting Ireland Remains High"
Tourism Ireland's manager for Italy Ornella Gamacchio stated, "Tourism Ireland is delighted that around 100 Italian journalists and travel professionals are [took] the time to join us and our partners from Ireland for our virtual 'Meet Ireland 2021' event. The participation of these journalists and travel trade is a strong indication that interest in visiting Ireland remains high here in Italy.
"Our aim is to keep Ireland front-of-mind with prospective Italian travellers until such time as they can visit again."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.