Economy Minister Simon Hamilton has invited visitors from the Republic of Ireland to ‘Say Hello to More in Northern Ireland’ as he launched Tourism Northern Ireland’s Autumn advertising campaign.
The Autumn campaign which will run until November, highlights Northern Ireland’s most unique experiences which can all be packaged into a short break.
Speaking at the launch event in Dublin, Simon Hamilton said: “From Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway, the Walled City of Derry~Londonderry, the Mournes and the Fermanagh Lakelands, to top class hotels, a remarkable food and drink offering, excellent golf, mountain biking, screen tourism and many other outstanding visitor experiences, Northern Ireland now has a sophisticated and vibrant tourism product.
Fermanagh diners have been wowed this week by the fantastic range of events happening in local eateries and attractions as part of the county’s first Restaurant Week. The initiative, which has been organised by Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism in conjunction with the tourism trade, saw a ten day celebration of local food and drink inspired by the 2016 Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink.
The ‘Week’ started off on Friday 16th September with a tapas night at Tullymill Restaurant in Florence Court which, after selling out, ran a second night the following week off the back of its success. Many local restaurants ran specials throughout the week to give discerning diners something they wouldn't normally see on their menus. Cafe Merlot ran Game of Thrones menus to highlight the presence of the Game of Thrones door in the Blakes of the Hollow complex while the Killyhevlin ran a 'Taste of Killyhevlin' menu for a number of nights. Pat O'Doherty's Black Pudding Festival finale took place in Magee’s and was a wonderful night for all involved.
An opportunity for front-line staff to participate in a tailored food and customer service programme is being offered by Ards and North Down Borough Council in association with Tourism NI.
The WorldHost Food Ambassador programme will take place on Tuesday, 18 October between 10am and 2.30pm at the Poacher’s Pocket in Lisbane.
The WorldHost Food Ambassador Programme gives staff and volunteers the skills to deliver a warm and friendly welcome to customers and visitors, and is particularly focused on their role as an ambassador for their local area. WorldHost Food Ambassador is a recognised and accredited training programme tailored specifically for Northern Ireland’s acclaimed food and drink industry.
By Michele Shirlow - Chief Executive of Food NI
We could scarcely have imagined that Year of Food and Drink 2016 would see the most important accolade in the European food and drink industry return to Northern Ireland. At the start of September the Supreme Champion title in the highly influential Great Taste Awards was won by a Northern Ireland company, Hannan Meats of Moira.
This inspirational company, headed by dedicated foodie Peter Hannan, is now the first business ever to win the industry’s top award for the second time. This meant competing against 10,000 entries to reach pole position. Much has already been written about this small company’s extraordinary success. Thanks to Ulster Bank who supported the awards, I was privileged to be in the audience at the award ceremony for the first time. The awards followed a spectacular dinner, including Abernethy smoked butter, which also represented Northern Ireland in the final top 18 products.
Tourism NI has launched the Tourism Event Funding Programme to support the local event industry. The programme which opens today aims to increase visitor numbers and spend in the local economy, as well as raise the international profile of Northern Ireland.
Derry City and Strabane District Council has pledged to build on Derry’s successes as a rising food tourism destination after narrowly missing out to Boyne Valley as Ireland’s top Foodie Destination 2016.
For the second year in a row, Derry was announced as the Foodie Destinations runner-up, proving themselves again to be one of the top foodie destinations in Ireland. The Council-led ‘LegenDerry and Local’ bid was one of the ten top finalists shortlisted in this year’s search by the Restaurants Association of Ireland.
Derry was the only Northern Ireland contender for the hotly-pursued award, with the other nine finalists including last year’s winner, The Burren in Co Clare, who claimed second runner-up in this year’s competition, Boyne Valley, Cong, Sligo, Leitrim, Monaghan, The Loop Peninsula, Kilkenny and Dublin Coastal Villages (Dublin, Malahide & Skerries).
Tourism NI has welcomed over 28 leading GB and ROI coach and group tour operators in a bid to drive tourism in Northern Ireland. The three-day trip will allow influential tour operators to experience for themselves the high standard and variety of our tourism offering and to take part in networking events with 48 local industry representatives.
A group of influential media from Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and the US are in Northern Ireland this week to experience and sample the unique sights, sounds and tastes on offer.
The hardworking organisers behind the collaborative ‘Wild About Food’ project have grabbed another slice of the Year of Food and Drink action with a Bread Making Workshop as part of Bread and Baking month.
The latest in a series of events organised by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in collaboration with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, took place on Sunday, 11 September at the Andrew Jackson Cottage in Carrickfergus.
A Belfast Entrepreneurs Network (BEN) event focussing on tourism within the city will take place in Titanic Belfast on Thursday 13 October. The BEN event will be addressed by Tourism NI industry development manager Carolyn Boyd and will discuss how business can capitalise on the city's tourism market.
Held in collaboration with Tourism NI and the venue partner, Titanic Belfast the gathering will provide an evening of information sharing, opportunities and networking. Attendees will hear about the exciting events, initiatives and opportunities coming up across Northern Ireland, find out how to get involved in key tourism events and initiatives and hear from local, successful businesses who have benefitted from tourism across the city.
Tourism Northern Ireland
Floors 10-12, Linum Chambers
Bedford Square, Bedford Street
BELFAST BT2 7ES
Tel 028 9023 1221
Fax 028 9024 0960
Textphone 028 9044 1522
This is the industry site of Tourism Northern Ireland. Click here to visit our consumer website, DiscoverNorthernIreland.com