Tourism NI is responsible for the development of tourism and the marketing of Northern Ireland as a tourist destination to visitors within Northern Ireland and from the Republic of Ireland.
The language of ‘knowing your customer and growing your business’ is underpinned by a range of buzz words, from collaboration and clustering to partnership and promotion. One new B and B owner however boils her approach down to basics despite a long-standing commitment to the ideas behind the advice.
“For me it’s about looking at the entire business as a guest and putting myself in their shoes, seeing their visit as a whole experience and how it can entice them back to enjoy the Causeway Coast."
Nicola Neill's Blackrock House has become the first five-star B and B in Portrush and is one of only six currently operating in the north. The brand new business venture, which opened full time at the start of April, is already off to a flying start with its weekend trade. And having already been shortlisted for the brand new ‘Most Promising New Tourism Businesses’ category in this year’s Northern Ireland Tourism Awards, success is set to stay for Blackrock.
“It’s been amazing to have had bookings every weekend since I opened part time back in January 31 and I have been overwhelmed by the numbers of guests despite it being the winter months. In the first week of April the house was booked out by separate wedding parties and I’m really looking forward to the season ahead. I was lucky to be awarded MADE.com ‘House of the Month’ in January which was a great platform to let people know I was opening soon.”
The landscape of County Down is bearing fruit for a 19th century cottage which has been providing self-catering accommodation since its renovation ten years ago.
Glassdrumman Cottage in Saintfield is run by William Howard who planted an orchard beside the traditional farm building during its conversion in 2006. Originally intended as a landscaping feature so guests could enjoy the apple blossom, Glassdrumman now produces its very own cider savoured by visitors and locals alike. Currently in its third year of production, albeit on a tiny scale, the cider is a direct result of the landscape as well as the ‘place’, as accommodation provider and cider producer William explains.
Game of Thrones® fever is once again at an almighty high as HBO’s world-renowned series has been back on screens for the past five weeks.
During that time Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland have been unveiling a series of ten intricately carved doors, depicting moments inspired by the current season in a campaign known as #DoorOfThrones. The doors have been carved from trees blown down in Storm Gertrude earlier in the year at the Dark Hedges in Co Antrim which serves as the backdrop for the Kingsroad, perhaps the most iconic Game of Thrones® location in Northern Ireland.
The impressive pieces of art will hang in pubs and other venues in Northern Ireland near filming locations where iconic scenes took place, giving visitors a brand new Game of Thrones® Territory trail to follow. The newest addition to the trail has now been unveiled at Frank Owens Bar, Limavady, Co. Londonderry.
A delegation from Belfast, led by the Lord Mayor, is in Beijing and Shenyang, China this week to explore areas of collaboration between the cities in urban development, smart city working, active ageing and tourism and education.
The programme for the Belfast City Council visit has been facilitated by the Northern Ireland Bureau in China which organised meetings, managed logistics and provided advice and briefing on engagement with China to the delegation. The visit also coincided with a trade mission by Invest Northern Ireland to the city of Shenyang this week.
Belfast City Council signed a Friendly Cooperation Agreement with Shenyang in 2014 with the relationship upgraded to Sister City status today when the Lord Mayor Arder Carson signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoM) with the Mayor of Shenyang, Pan Liguo, in Shenyang today. They were accompanied by the Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau in China, Tim Losty, and, Councillor Emmet McDonough Brown.
The visit to China followed a recent meeting with the Chinese Consulate General in Belfast, Madam Wang Shuying, in City Hall to discuss the goals the delegation wanted to achieve through their mission.
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