Held yesterday at the Marine Hotel Ballycastle, the event highlighted the experiences the Causeway Coast and Glens’ landscapes, culture, people, stories, heritage and legends can deliver for a wide range of visitors.
Accommodation and activity providers, visitor attraction owners, tourism businesses and representatives from district councils in the region all took part in the event, part of the NITB’s continuing industry development programme.
The Insight presented experiential tourism examples and best practice by experts from Wales.
Speakers included Jim Jones, Head of Tourism and Communities at Conwy County Council, who shared the results of a shared destination management plan developed with the private sector, and Sam Nayar, Chair of Destination Conwy and owner of the seaside Escape Boutique B&B in Llandudno, regularly featured in the UK national press.
Dan Lavery of Limavady Long Line Surf School and Jason Powell from the Causeway Coast and Glens, the destination management body for the area, also spoke at the event.
Following the launch of a destination plan for the area in 2012, NITB continues to work closely with the Causeway Coast and Glens Partnership to build on the legacy created by the opening of the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre and the hosting of the highly successful Irish Open golf tournament.
The Giro d’Italia cycle race will pass through the region in May, showcasing the Causeway Coast and Glens to an estimated global TV audience of 775 million.
NITB’s Destination Manager, Kathleen McBride said: “The Causeway Coast and Glens is a destination of international visitor appeal. It has one of the world’s greatest road journeys and has a global reputation for unspoilt scenery, great people, culture, heritage and iconic attractions.
“However tourism is evolving and moving beyond the traditional development and marketing of stand-alone products. The demands of our customers are changing and the NITB message is the tourism industry must adapt to keep up with the competition by grasping every opportunity to offer high-quality visitor experiences.
“We are supporting the Causeway Coast and Glens with this event to ensure the experiences that let our industry stand out from the competition are developed.”
The event included a discussion on the role of tourism destination ambassadors, and private, public and community collaboration.