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.
International trade shows
Key annual events the team recruit NI trade for are IMEX, Frankfurt (May), IMEX US , Las Vegas (October) IBTM World, Barcelona November. Various Tourism Ireland sales missions and workshops.
The Business to Business 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 in March attracts around 120 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.
Download the Meet the Buyer 2017 Manual here.
• Developing Markets workshop
The Developing Markets workshop is held in NI every three years, attracting around 50 tour operators from China, India, Middle East and South Africa as well as a number of UK Inbound buyers.
• 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.