Over 60 global tour operators based in the Republic of Ireland and over 100 Northern Ireland industry representatives participated in a virtual version of the annual Incoming Tour Operators Association (ITOA) workshop on February 16 and 17.
The virtual event was hosted by Tourism NI, which organised it in partnership with the ITOA.
The annual event, which took place virtually for the first time this year, saw tourism businesses engage with ITOA member organisations through a series of online sales appointments, and allowed Northern Ireland tourism industry representatives to create business connections and showcase what is available in Northern Ireland for future programmes or itineraries.
"A Fantastic Opportunity"
In a statement published on Tourism NI's website, Tourism NI's business solutions manager, Eimear Callaghan, stated, "[The event] is a fantastic opportunity for those operating in the tourism industry in Northern Ireland to make members of the ITOA aware of the products and experiences that are available and the compelling reasons why they should be included in future ITOA itineraries. There will be fierce competition when people start travelling in large numbers again and our partnership with ITOA will be an essential part of our sales efforts."
"Important Annual Trade Events"
Meanwhile, ITOA chief executive Ruth Andrews commented, "ITOA workshops are important annual travel trade events. Having run several very successful 'live' workshops in Northern Ireland since 2018, we are very grateful to Tourism Northern Ireland for providing the Converve Platform and support to ensure that our workshop happened at this time when ITOA members are contracting with their international partners for 2022 and 2023. It is vitally important that the industry and ITOA members remain connected to ensure that when the time is right and international returns, we are ready to sell to our international client base and that Ireland will continue to be a strong destination of choice for overseas visitors. Recovery will come and we need to be prepared and communicating the terrific experiences that Northern Ireland industry have to offer."
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