Posted on Thursday 3 December 2015 by Ulster Business

Tourism ireland targets ramp up in overseas visitors

Pictured are Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Jonathan Bell and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland at the the launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 marketing plans.

The body charged with driving overseas tourism to Northern Ireland has  set itself ambitious targets for next year.

Tourism Ireland’s new marketing plan expects to increase the number of overseas visitors to these shores by 4% in 2016 and to drive revenue from those tourists up by 5% to £476m.

Its bullish outlook follows a successful period for 2015 with 1.9m people expected to have visited by the end of the year, itself a 5% hike on last year.

International visitors are expected to have spent £454m this year, up 2% on the year.

Tourism minister Jonathan Bell said the strong performance was a result of new flights to Northern Ireland and stronger economies at some of the key source markets.

“While I believe we should celebrate this success we must now set our sights higher on even bigger targets to ensure our tourist industry reaches its full potential,” he said.

“I know Tourism Ireland will continue to build on this success and in particular its Game of Thrones campaign in the spring. They will also continue to raise awareness of Northern Ireland as a top class business tourism destination, particularly highlighting the new facilities at the Waterfront Hall.”

He said a new advert highlight visitor attractions here will be launched in 23 markets around the world from January.

It will reach 26m potential holiday makers in France and Germany alone.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, expected a strong year ahead.

: “2015 is set to be a very good year for overseas tourism to Northern Ireland. Throughout the year, Tourism Ireland undertook a packed programme of promotions, to bring Northern Ireland to the attention of travellers everywhere. Thousands of opportunities were created for potential visitors around the world to read, hear or watch positive messages about Northern Ireland; Tourism Ireland estimates that this media exposure is worth an estimated £90million in equivalent advertising value.” 


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