Eight top-performing travel agents from China, India, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates enjoyed an action-packed visit around Northern Ireland last week. The group were here as guests of Tourism Ireland, Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland.
Their visit was the ‘grand finale’ of Tourism Ireland’s ‘Ireland Specialists’ online training programme – which is designed for travel agents and tour operators in emerging tourism markets, to help them sell holidays to the island of Ireland.
The travel agents all studied six different modules on Northern Ireland, completing each module with a fun quiz. Travel agents who got full marks for each module received a special gold ‘Ireland Specialists’ certificate – and the chance to travel to the island of Ireland.
Their action-packed itinerary included a walking tour of the Walled City of Londonderry, the Giant’s Causeway, Titanic Belfast, the Game of Thrones touring exhibition, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Kylemore Abbey and Voya Seaweed Baths. The travel agents have also been competing in fun challenges each day, with the overall winner crowned the ‘2019 Emerald Ireland Specialist’ during a networking event at the end of the trip.
“As a reward for excelling in their ‘Ireland Specialists’ training, we invited this group of travel agents to come and experience some of the many things to see and do on the island of Ireland,” said David Boyce, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Asia, Middle East and UK Inbound. “Familiarisation trips such as this are extremely important, as influential travel agents get to experience at first-hand our superb tourism offering; our aim is to enthuse the travel agents about the destination, so that when they return home they will be even better informed to advise their clients when planning and booking their holidays.
“We have an extensive programme of promotions under way throughout 2019, which includes working with key travel agents and tour operators in China, India, and the Middle East. Tourism Ireland is committed to growing visitor numbers from emerging tourism markets and familiarisation trips such as this play a significant role in helping us achieve this goal.”