This is the first year the prestigious business tourism networking event has been held in the Walled City, fitting with a significant year to showcase Derry as a visitor destination, with celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the Walls taking place.
The workshop provides a valuable sales platform for Northern Ireland businesses operating in the tourism industry to meet with qualified buyers from the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain, who are in a position to do business with them and secure future bookings.
Naomi Waite, Tourism NI’s Director of Marketing said; “Every year new business deals are signed and new partnerships commenced between members of the Northern Ireland tourism trade and coach and group tour operators in the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain, as a result of this workshop.
“The Coach and Group workshop opens opportunities for local businesses to develop industry connections and further promote their services or products to the ROI and GB tourism industry. This year’s event saw over 1600 sales appointments take place.
“As a destination, Northern Ireland has much to offer the international visitor from a high standard and variety of accommodation to award-winning unique visitor attractions and experiences.
“Face to face networking events such as this one are vital for ensuring that Northern Ireland tourism businesses can contract for years to come, thus future-proofing their businesses.”
Welcoming the strong attendance at this year’s workshop, Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring these influential coach and group tour operators to this annual workshop, which provides such an important opportunity for our Northern Ireland industry partners.
“The attendance of these operators is a strong indication that interest in visiting Northern Ireland remains high and that we can, and are, competing successfully with the best destinations in the world.”
Leoni Duff, Head of Product Development at UK and Ireland tour operator, Tour Partner Group, commented:
“Tour Partner Group welcomes the great opportunity to attend the Coach and Group Workshop in the Waterfoot Hotel Derry.
“These workshops allow us to deepen our knowledge of our destinations, discover new products, explore lesser known regions and build stronger partnerships with suppliers”.
In addition to the workshop and networking sessions, Tourism NI organised familiarisation trips for the GB and ROI tour operators in Armagh and Derry.
The purpose of the trip was to promote the products, experiences and accommodation on offer in the area.