Hamilton promotes the best of province to German tour operators

Mr Hamilton with Finola OMahony of Tourism Ireland, right, and representatives of the German travel industry

Mr Hamilton with Finola OMahony of Tourism Ireland, right, and representatives of the German travel industry

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Economy Minister Simon Hamilton has promoted the best of Northern Ireland at a meeting with German Tour operators in Dusseldorf.

At an event organised by Tourism Ireland the Minister said: “Germany is one of the largest outbound travel markets in the world with an annual spend of £64.5billion.

“It is an increasingly important market for us. Last year 65,000 German visitors came to Northern Ireland.

“With the recent addition of a new direct Ryanair service between Berlin and Belfast getting to Northern Ireland has never been easier.”

Earlier this week Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary told a press conference at Titanic Belfast that German tourists flying into Belfast International from Berlin were so far accounting for 65% of passenges with Northern Ireland tourists going the other way making up the remaining 35%.

Explaining Tourism Ireland’s role in promoting Northern Ireland, Mr Hamilton said: “Tourism Ireland continue to reinforce the message that Northern Ireland is a great place to visit for holidays and for business.

“Iconic attractions such as the Giant’s Causeway and Titanic Belfast and the link with HBO hit Game of Thrones feature prominently in overseas marketing as well as raising brand awareness of Northern Ireland as a destination for corporate travel.

“Tourism is an important economic driver which offers valuable employment opportunities across Northern Ireland.

“I very much welcomed the opportunity to meet directly with a range of German tour operators as part of my role to ensure we win a larger share of the lucrative German market.”