06 March 2013
Tourism Minister Arlene Foster promoted Northern Ireland as a business and leisure destination at the ITB Berlin travel show, in Germany, today.
ITB Berlin, which runs from 6 to 10 March, is an annual world-wide travel show, which attracts over 170,000 visitors, of whom 113,000 are trade visitors.
This year, more representatives from the Northern Ireland tourism industry are exhibiting on Tourism Ireland’s exhibition stand, than ever before. During the visit the Minister met representatives from the Giant’s Causeway, the City Hotel Londonderry, Titanic Belfast and Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau.
Speaking at the event Arlene Foster said: “Germany is a very important European market for Northern Ireland tourism as, after China, it is the world’s largest outbound travel market, with over 70 million trips abroad taken each year.
“Attractive scenery, friendly locals and plenty of things to see and do, consistently hold the top three places in German people’s top ten reasons for choosing a holiday destination – all of which Northern Ireland offers in abundance. Our challenge is to convince even greater numbers of Germans that now is the time to visit Northern Ireland, given the vast array of worldwide destinations available.”
Commenting on the fact that this year’s Tourism Ireland stand at ITB has a special focus on the UK City of Culture, the Minister said: “A key priority for Tourism Ireland is to promote Londonderry as UK City of Culture internationally in 2013. We have a unique opportunity to showcase the city’s talents, highlight its cultural richness and tell the world Londonderry’s unique story.
“We have been working hard to position Londonderry as a must-see tourist destination for 2013 by using events such as this to encourage individuals to consider including the City of Culture in their holiday plans.
“Over the next few months the city will play host to a world-class programme that includes the Turner Prize presented outside England for the first time, a new commission by the London Symphony Orchestra and the first visit to Northern Ireland of the Royal Ballet for over 20 years. The exciting programme of events has something to suit everyone's tastes and it provides fresh and compelling reasons for people across the world to visit Northern Ireland.”
Attendees at the five-day show include leading travel writers, tour operators and travel agents, not just from Germany but from all over the world, as well as many thousands of German holidaymakers all looking for ideas and suggestions for their next short break or holiday destination.
Arlene Foster added: “The ni2012 campaign helped to move Northern Ireland tourism to a new level in terms of profile, economic impact and self-belief. We now need to build on what we have achieved and pull out all the stops to ensure that Northern Ireland increases its share of the global travel business.”
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