How Tourism NI Can Develop Working With the Travel Trade
Tourism NI support and assist the NI tourism and hospitality industry in growing their relationships with the international travel trade.
We develop an engaging, useful & dynamic programme of activity designed to deliver increased tourism revenue to Northern Ireland through business to business platforms and facilitating other opportunities for engagement with the travel trade.
One of the core activities is an extensive programme of familiarisation trips (fam trips) where key international operators visit NI on a set itinerary showcasing the best of NI tourism and hospitality products and experiences in line with the preferences of their target markets and clientele. In 2019-20 we welcomed over 600 operators through this programme.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, a large number of virtual fam trips have taken place, to ensure the conversations continue with the travel trade and the NI industry still have opportunities to promote their products and experiences.
Tourism NI also organise 3 main platforms to facilitate the NI industry meet international travel trade;
Meet the Buyer Workshop
In previous years, we have welcomed over 180 operators from key markets all around the world. A hosted welcome dinner for travel trade takes place on the first night, followed by a main workshop event where NI industry meet the operators in a series of pre arranged 1:2:1 appointments and then a gala networking dinner for all attendees.
Travel trade in attendance are also given the opportunity to extend their visit to attend a selection of fam trips. Here’s a video on Meet the Buyer 2023 to give you a flavour of what happens.
GB and ROI 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. NI industry who are active in the coach and group sector have the opportunity to present their products first-hand to the tour operators and to build new and existing relationships. The travel trade will also take part in a post workshop fam trip to experience the product firsthand. Here’s a video of our 2017 event.
ITOA Workshop – Northern Ireland
Since 2018, ITOA have held a workshop in Northern Ireland, supported by Tourism NI. It usually takes place in Nov and is attended by reps from all of their members who can meet with NI industry followed by a gala networking dinner. Fam visits are also conducted for those who wish to participate. Here’s a video of the first ITOA Workshop in NI.
Tourism NI work closely with the Incoming Tour Operators Association (ITOA) who represent the most prolific operators based on the island of Ireland – a list of their members is available here. ITOA represent the main operators delivering a large quantity of business to the island of Ireland.
- ITOA members delivered 704,500 visitors to Ireland in 2019
- Generated 2.4million bed nights
- Spent €12.5million on marketing and 2,341man-days travelling overseas promoting the Island of Ireland
- Generated €565 million spend by visitors, which equates to 11% of the national total visitor spend.
- 10% of the visitors travel to NI