Wednesday, October 09 14:00:21
Today will see more than 40 international tour operators attend a tourism workshop in Belfast jointly organised by Tourism Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Leading tour operators from seven countries, including China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Russia and the Gulf Countries, will meet and do business with 90 representatives of the tourism industry from around Ireland.
Now in its seventh year, the New Markets workshop aims to grow the Irish share of travel business from new and emerging tourism markets. In advance of today's event, many of the visiting tour operators have been travelling around Ireland, sampling what the destination has to offer their clients.
Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland's head of Australia and developing markets, said:
"Whilst the majority of our overseas visitors come from GB, North America and Mainland Europe, it is important that we expand our focus and look outside these markets for new opportunities. While visitor numbers from markets like China and India are small right now, when compared to our more established tourism markets, it is important to remember that visitors from long-haul markets spend more than the average visitor and typically stay longer than visitors from closer to home."