For more information on how NITB can help your tourism business contact a member of NITB’s Industry Development Unit
NITB aims to support local tourism providers capitalise on the opportunities that 2012 and 2013 presents through our Industry Development Programme.
This programme includes a series of training courses, events, masterclasses, business insights, road shows and workshops that run throughout the year to help maximise tourism industry growth and to develop the visitor experience of our tourism offering. Over 3 million visitors come to Northern Ireland each year, generating £530 million for the local economy. The Next Level Industry Development Programme will help you get the most from this time of opportunity.
The following information was presented at recent Next Level Industry Development events. For more information on previous events, please contact NITB's Industry Development Unit on:
Tel: 028 9044 1606
Travellers around the world are telling us that they want a life less ordinary. Visitors are no longer chatting about destinations or products, they are seeking out authentic and uniquely memorable "experiences".
Those experiences which offer the highest levels of differentiation will also offer the highest level of return for the tourism providers who provide it. This year’s conference was an opportunity to learn about your key markets and visitor, who is coming to Northern Ireland? What are they like, what do they want, what motivates them to travel?
Download Speaker Presentations
from the event
Only one year after the launch of WorldHost in Northern Ireland, almost 5000 people have already been trained in the customer service programmes and more than 100 businesses have received their WorldHost Recognition Award. Due to the huge success of WorldHost, Attendees heard about the introduction of new programmes and extended funding opportunities.
The growth and integration of tourism and digital technology has been exponential over the past five years. Visitors to Northern Ireland are using new ways to source information and book their holidays, but what does this mean for our 'warm welcome' and ability to promote our tourism offering in a personal way?
This masterclass explained how technology is being used globally to attract and retain visitors and how local tourism businesses can use these insights to promote their offering and to generate business.
Download Speaker Presentations from the event
Ross Fothergill - Director of Business Development, NITB
Food is an essential part of the visitor experience. Northern Ireland's food, like our golf, is coming to the fore. The UK Guild of Fine Foods has awarded produce from Northern Ireland with the title of 'UK Supreme Champion' two years running. Three local foods have gained 'Protected Geographical Indication' status from the European Union meaning they are held in similar regard as 'Parma Ham' and 'Champagne'.
The strength of our produce means we have opportunities to differentiate ourselves as a destination through our food offer, tell our stories and even motivate travel. This Masterclass explored Northern Ireland's potential to develop an all round excellent core food offer, looked at the ways in which we can develop our food tourism offer and also provided an opportunity to meet some of NI's 'Great Taste Award' winners and to sample their produce.
Michele Shirlow - Food NI
Matthew O'Callaghan - Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association
John McKenna - The Irish Food Guide
WorldHost Customer Service Programmes were launched in January 2012 and have now been delivered to over 4,000 people in the tourism, hospitality, leisure and passenger transport sectors across Northern Ireland. Due to the demand from industry, funding from the Department for Employment and Learning is being offered until March 2013.
At this insight delegates heard how local businesses are currently using WorldHost and why they recommend it, how they can avail of the DEL funding package, how they can become a WorldHost Recognised Business and be part of a WorldHost destination.
WorldHost Customer Service Programme
This Masterclass presented delegates with the opportunity to gain an insight into some of the most influential figures in the events industry and enabled them to create, improve or expand their own event and product.
Claire O'Reilly - Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon
Derek Allan - The Enchanted Forest
William Higham - Next Big Thing
At the launch of ni2012 Our Time, Our Place campaign this time last year our tourism Minister Arlene Foster said we can send out a message to the world that Northern Ireland has changed.
As the campaign has unfolded, this past year has seen a sustained level of marketing and promotion of Northern Ireland that has moved us to a whole new level in terms of global perceptions, our profile as a destination,
The question now is – how do we build on the launch pad of the last twelve months to create a legacy for the next ten years.
Alan Clarke - ni2012 Launch Pad to Legacy
Northern Ireland will host the prestigious World Police and Fire Games from 1st to 10th August next year. The event has the potential to generate up to an estimated £21m for the local economy. NITB is encouraging tourism providers across the region to maximise the potential of the 25,000 visitors who are due to attend the Games next year. This Games Information Event was held at the MAC, Belfast and was attended by representatives from all 26 Local Authorities from across Northern Ireland.
Mike Graham - World Police and Fire Games
Andrew Patterson - NITB
NITB in association with The Ulster Business School presented an industry workshop in conjunction with their three day international conference, exploring elements of event practice with a view to leveraging events and maximising business potential.
Shan McAnena - Belfast Festival at Queens
Michael Jeffrey - In Any Event
Alistair McGowan - World Police & Fire Games
Andrew Potter - City of Culture 2013
NITB recognises the critical importance of delivering an excellent visitor experience that is unique and appealing enough to tempt visitors away from other destinations. This is an on-going challenge for all of us involved in tourism. This year’s tourism conference invited delegates to walk in the footsteps of the visitor and to get an insight into the visitor touch-points from arrival to departure.
Roger Brooks - Destination Development International
Andrew Potter- Culture Company 2013
Alistair McGowan - World Police and Fire Games
NITB recognises the critical importance of the tour guiding industry in Northern Ireland and is committed to supporting its development in the future. This insight presented areas of best practice within the tour guiding industry enabling delegates to gather learnings from the 2012 Olympic preparations and to benchmark changes in the sector in Wales.
Selwyn Walters – Wales Official Tourist Guides Association
David Thompson - Guild of Registered Tourist Guides
Aidan McCormick – Belfast Sight Seeing Tours
Gyles Haverty- People 1st
This event highlighted the importance of the internet as an integral part of everyday life for consumers across Northern Ireland and the world. The focus of the day was to explore tourism and technology, in order to help tourism businesses in Northern Ireland learn more about online technology and maximise their marketing targets.
Adrienne Hanna - Alternative View
Niall Parfitt - Logon.ni
Geoff Wilson - IFA
Naomh McElhatton - Digital Advertising NI
Nick Martin- Invest NI
This event highlighted the importance of 2012 to the local tourism industry in the Causeway Coast and Glens region and highlighted the opportunities for business growth which the next few years will bring.
Eimear Callaghan - NITB
Graham Thompson - National Trust
Richard Lafferty - Aquaholics &
Ricky Martin - Alive Surf School
Jason Powell - Myths and Legends
Adrian Morrow - Glenarm Castle
This event was the launch of WorldHost Customer Service training programmes in Northern Ireland. The focus of the day was to explore best practice in customer service training both locally and globally, and to launch the new WorldHost suite of customer service programmes.
Raymond Chan - Raymond Chan and Associates
Judith Owens - Titanic Belfast
Jennifer McKeever - Airporter
Michael McQuillan- The Streat
Questions and Answer session
NITB’s Tourism Conference in March 2011 set the scene for industry and focused on an urgent call to action in the immediate future. NITB and our partners communicated strongly that 2012/13 presents Northern Ireland with unique opportunities, delivering a celebration of Northern Ireland that will inspire people at home and abroad to make this a must-see destination.
Tanya Cathcart – Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism
Gordon Clarke- URS Scott Wilson
Siobhan McGuigan- NITB
Jim Chestnutt- Castlecoole National Trust
Samuel Beckett- Happy Days Enniskillen International
This event was tailored to the needs of the Northern Ireland Event’s Industry and aimed to increase the industry skill in pitching to business in order to secure sponsorship support.This event helped to underpin the need to support the development of a high quality events industry aligned to tourism. It also aimed to highlight the quality of the visitor experience ensuring the sustainability and profitability of the local tourism industry.
Geoff Wilson - IFA
Julie Maguire - Hastings Hotels
Lyndsey Irwin, Ulster Rugby
The Grand Opera House and Emo Oil
Michael Jeffrey - In Any Event
This year’s spotlight is on the volunteer. This event explored best practice in how to utilise volunteers ensuring excellence in recruitment, retention and that the best possible matches were made with the volunteer at the heart of decisions.
Anne McReynolds- The MAC
Paul Stewart- National Trust
Marion Campbell- Queen’s Film Festival
Claire Lundy- Derry~Londonderry City Council
Graham Farrow – Ilex URC Derry
Jennifer McKeever- Airporter
Conor Donnelly- Beech Hill Country House
Frank McGrogan- Sail West Project
Kerrie Sweeny - Belfast City Council
Conor McClelland - Rayanne House
Siobhan Scullion - Hilden Brewery
Kevin Jeffries - Belfast Photographic Tours
Michael McQuillan - The Streat
NITB’s Industry Development Unit, in partnership with People 1st, hosted a Customer Service Business Insight for the Northern Ireland Trainer Network. The focus of the day was on continuous professional development for the trainer network, including an introduction to WorldHost customer service programmes which are currently being developed in partnership with People 1st for roll-out across Northern Ireland.
David Klaasen, Managing Director of Inspired Working
Michael McQuillan, Chair of People 1st Employers Forum
Gerry Brown, Strategic Manager at People 1st
Ana McColgan, NITB Master Trainer
Sammy Gamble, Department of Employment and Learning
Northern Ireland Tourist Board
St Anne's Court, 59 North Street
BELFAST, BT1 1NB
Tel 028 9023 1221
Fax 028 9024 0960
Textphone 028 9044 1522
This is the industry site of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Click here to visit our consumer website, DiscoverNorthernIreland.com