17 Nov 2022
Tourism NI Teams Up With Incoming Tour Operators Association
Tourism NI together with the Incoming Tour Operators Association of Ireland (ITOA) have held their first joint face to face Northern Ireland Workshop since 2019.
The Workshop was held in the Manor House Country Hotel, Fermanagh. Ninety five local industry representatives had the opportunity to sell to sixty Ireland based ITOA members across a series of one-one meetings.
ITOA is the representative association of Ireland’s premier inbound tour operators. ITOA members package and promote all aspects of the Irish tourism product and sell to leisure and business consumers through the global travel trade distribution channel.
In 2019 ITOA members delivered 705,000 holiday and business tourists. On average ITOA member visitors stayed longer in the country than the national average, with groups spending eight nights and individual packaged holidaymakers spending five nights. ITOA members generated €565 million spend by visitors, 10% of which was spent in Northern Ireland.
51% of ITOA members visitors come from North America, 36% from Continental Europe, 8% from the UK and 5% from other markets.
ITOA Chief Executive Ruth Andrews said;
“ITOA are delighted, thanks to our ongoing collaboration with Tourism Northern Ireland, to be bringing our workshops back in-person to Northern Ireland this year. While we continued to provide this opportunity virtually during the pandemic, nothing beats the face to face workshop meetings for doing business between ITOA members and NI tourism businesses."
“We are thrilled this year to be taking the event outside of Belfast and into Enniskillen Co Fermanagh and our well designed post workshop fam trips will provide a wonderful opportunity too for ITOA members to explore and experience more of the regions”.
Commenting on the sales opportunities for local tourism businesses, Tourism NI Business Solutions Manager Nikki Paterson said;
“Today’s Workshop in partnership with ITOA has shown very clearly that tourism is bouncing back and ours is an industry that thrives on personal connection, on making people feel welcome and at home. Under our Embrace a Giant Spirit brand we have built a rich portfolio of unique and distinctive visitor experiences that truly reflect the giant spirit of Northern Ireland."
“While we have a lot of work to do to secure renewed and sustainable growth, there are also many opportunities to be grasped by the local industry and we will be playing our part in ensuring that Northern Ireland increases its share of business to the island”.
Pictured l-r are, Ruth Andrews, Chief Executive, Incoming Tour Operators Association, Annaleen Stynes, CIE Tours and Nikki Paterson, Tourism NI Business Solutions Manager.