Eleven members of the European Tourism Association (ETOA) Board and Advisory Council are in Northern Ireland this week. Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland jointly organised the trip as part of efforts to promote Northern Ireland and boost recovery.
The well-established partnership between Tourism NI, Tourism Ireland and ETOA ensures that the tourism industry across Northern Ireland has opportunities to showcase experiences and products directly to almost 400 ETOA buyer members who package and promote to global travel trade partners and customers.
The Board and Advisory Council of ETOA represent some of the most influential international tour operators and travel trade from across Europe.
Naomi Waite, Tourism NI’s Marketing Director, said: “We are pleased to welcome the ETOA Board and Advisory Council to Northern Ireland this week. While the last two years have been extremely difficult for our sector, our partnerships overseas continue to remain crucial. Air access is crucial to the recovery of tourism in Northern Ireland and by summer 2022 it is anticipated that 92% of the 2019 seat capacity onto the island of Ireland will have returned.
She added: “This evening we are hosting a networking dinner at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens for the council members with some of our key local industry representatives. This serves as an excellent networking and destination showcase opportunity for our trade as ETOA have the capacity to direct significant group business to Northern Ireland.”
Siobhan McManamy, Acting Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite the Board and Advisory Council of the European Tourism Association (ETOA) to Northern Ireland for its board meeting and familiarisation visit. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland to this influential group. As we restart overseas tourism to Northern Ireland, it’s also a valuable opportunity for our local tourism partners. The visit by these senior travel professionals is a strong indication that interest in visiting Northern Ireland remains high and that it can, and is, competing with the best destinations in the world.”