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Hundreds of top overseas buyers were in Dublin and Belfast recently attending Ireland's largest travel trade platforms.
Over 300 top tourism buyers from every corner of the globe attended this year's event. Each of these buyers represented tens of thousands of possible customers and the opportunity to influence their travel itineraries for 2019 is invaluable. Held annually each spring, Meitheal provides a platform for Irish tourism operators to win new contracts and customers for next season and beyond.
This year’s event involved:
The overseas buyers were also brought on several fact-finding tours across the country, before and after the event. Bespoke itineraries for the fact-finding tours gave the overseas buyers a first-hand experience of what their clients can expect to see and do while in Ireland, with a key focus on the destination brands – the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Dublin.
Meet the Buyer is an annual event that provides a platform for local businesses to showcase their products to a global audience and secure future business. The event has improved year on year as its reach and reputation extends worldwide, and this year’s event was the biggest yet.
A total of 165 international tour operator organisations from 22 different markets, including China, India, New Zealand and Australia, experienced first-hand what Northern Ireland has to offer visitors. Additional countries represented include the USA, UAE, Germany, Italy and France.
19 buyers from the Republic of Ireland and 179 local NI tourism representatives (from 124 local companies) joined the large international business contingent. 5,000 one to one sales meetings took place over the course of the day.
“Meet the Buyer is an intrinsic part of our sales efforts and leads to millions of pounds of business for local companies. I am particularly pleased to see so many buyers here for the first time as well as many local businesses seeking to capitalise on the opportunity that Meet the Buyer presents.”
John McGrillen Tourism NI Chief Executive
82% of operators who attended last year attributed their growth in Northern Ireland to attending Meet the Buyer while 76% plan to increase their Northern Ireland offering as a result of attending Meet the Buyer, confirming the event’s critical importance to tourism businesses in Northern Ireland.
Following the workshop, participating buyers took part in familiarisation trips planned by Tourism Northern Ireland including 26 Game of Thrones filming locations, Armagh and Down, the Causeway Coastal Route, the Walled City and Belfast.