ITOA Members Get Down to Business in Northern Ireland

The Incoming Tour Operators Association (ITOA) of Ireland, in partnership with Tourism NI, hosted its first ever business-to-business workshop to be held in Northern Ireland at the Titanic Hotel Belfast on November 13th. The event was part of the Associations plans to mark the 40th Year of the Association.

The Belfast workshop saw over 750 appointments take place in one afternoon between 30 ITOA member companies and 95 delegates from 80 companies representing the Northern Ireland tourism industry.

Speaking about the event, Darren Byrne, President of the ITOA said:

“As part of a series of events to mark our 40th anniversary, we were delighted to bring an ITOA workshop to Northern Ireland for the first time thanks to a successful partnership with Tourism NI.“

“These highly successful promotional events provide tourism businesses seeking to increase overseas visitors, leisure or business tourists with the opportunity to meet Ireland’s largest and long-established Tour Operators, Handling Agents and Destination Management Companies at one event, in one afternoon.”

“To see such a high turnout for our first ever Northern Ireland workshop sends out a clear message as to the important contribution of the organisation in facilitating the promotion of tourism in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in overseas markets.”

Following a packed schedule of networking appointments at the Titanic Hotel delegates enjoyed a gala dinner at the Crumlin Road Gaol this evening including a showcase of local food and entertainment.

Commenting on the event, Naomi Waite, Tourism NI Director of Marketing said:

“Networking opportunities such as the ITOA workshop offer the Northern Ireland tourism industry a unique opportunity to tap into a global distribution network by dealing directly with those who package and promote tourism products across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to the overseas market.”

“In 2017 we welcomed record visitor numbers of nearly five million people, who contributed an unprecedented £926m in visitor spend. While we are enjoying a lot of success in Northern Ireland, we are ambitious to grow and develop tourism even further, and to do this we must look towards international markets.”

Watch more about the event here


IMG_3147ITOA Workshops 2015 got off to a busy and productive start yesterday in Limerick. Just over 220 industry from the length and breadth of the Wild Atlantic Way and beyond attended to meet with all ITOA members. Sue Uda President of ITOA said “we were delighted that so many tourism businesses took the time to come and sell to ITOA members. We were particularly pleased to meet with some new and very interesting businesses, as well as some established businesses that are being innovative and providing new business opportunities.” Sharing the 2014 ITOA Members Business Performance highlights , Sue said that 2014 had been yet another good year for ITOA members with visitor numbers and spend with Irish tourism businesses having continued to grow. What was particularly interest is the marketing/sales activity of ITOA members collectively in 2014 which had increased by just over €1 Million in 2014. “ This investment of just over €8 million is equivalent to 20% of Irelands total marketing investment in 2014 which demonstrates the significant contribution ITOA members make in selling and delivering promotable overseas visitors.”

A Ringing Endorsement at ITOA Limerick Workshop

sephotoMinister for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring visited the ITOA Workshop in the Limerick Strand today where he congratulated the ITOA members and tourism businesses present on their hard work and dedication in delivering the very best experiences to our overseas visitors.

He remarked on the enthusiasm of the tourism industry in promoting the Wild Atlantic Way – “The Wild Atlantic Way is a terrific opportunity to package and promote all of the wonderful areas and product along the Atlantic seaboard and it’s here to stay and will serve the industry well for years to come”.

Sue Uda, President of ITOA thanked Minister Ring for his support of the industry over the past 3 years “we greatly appreciate the support that you, Minister Varadkar and your Government colleagues have given the industry over the past few years.

The industry has played its part in delivering increasing visitor numbers, contributing valuable export earnings into the national economy and creating much needed jobs in areas and regions that haven’t attracted other industry.”