The Business Solutions Unit is responsible for promoting Northern Ireland as a leisure tourism destination in conjunction with Tourism Ireland, to international tour operators and travel agents across the globe and in particular in Tourism NI’s key markets: GB, ROI, North America and Europe. This is achieved though hosting a programme of familiarisation trips and a series of events.
Key events include:
• Meet the Buyer workshop
Meet the Buyer attracts over 140 tour operators from North America, Europe, Britain, Ireland and Australia. The NI industry has the opportunity to present its products first-hand to the tour operators and to build new and existing relationships. Meet the Buyer 2020 will take place at ICC Belfast on Tuesday 24th March 2020. Registration for NI Trade will open in late November.
• Travel Trade familiarisation trips
Working with the Tourism Ireland overseas offices to identify key tour operators and travel agents from around the world who can potentially deliver visitors to Northern Ireland.
• Coach and Group workshop
The Coach and Group Workshop takes place each year in September and is aimed specifically at the coach and group market from GB and ROI. The event attracts around 30 coach and group operators from these markets The NI industry who are active in the coach and group sector will have the opportunity to present their products first-hand to the tour operators and to build new and existing relationships. The operators will also take part in a post workshop fam trip to experience the product first hand.
Watch: 2017 GB Coach and Group Operators Workshop at Titanic Belfast.
The Business Solutions team regularly host events to support Northern Ireland industry access these important international distribution channels. Click here to review the presentations from the last Travel Trade Masterclass.
In partnership with Tourism Ireland, there are a full range of international marketing opportunities available to Northern Ireland industry such as participation in trade shows, webinars, ezines and other activity. For more details on all opportunities, please visit tourismirelandindustryopportunities.com.
Two sectors of the group travel market are targeted:
• Group tour operators – handling agents, incoming tour operators, ground handlers, coach operators.
• Group travel organisers – these people work on a voluntary basis on behalf of a group where a common interest is shared such as retirement groups, community groups, church groups etc.
This sector continues to be made of over 55s. Key areas of sales and marketing activity include familiarisation trips, trade shows, direct mail, advertising and sales calls.