The world’s leading online travel agents were in Belfast this week for a workshop organised by Tourism NI in partnership with Tourism Ireland, which saw over 140 local industry in attendance.
‘Understanding Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and Bedbanks Distribution’ is the first large-scale event of Tourism NI’s Tourism Enterprise Development (TED) Programme for 2019-20 and was supported by the NI Hotels Federation.
Key speakers including Expedia, Booking.com, Lastminute.com and Expedia Local Expert (Attractions), provided insights on who the online travel agents are and how they work. The session also explored how best to manage and protect online reputation with Ciaran Connolly from ProfileTree.
Commenting on the event, Carolyn Boyd, Tourism NI Industry Development Manager said:
“The internet has revolutionised the way that we travel however there is still uncertainty about how online travel agents can help attract overseas visitors and encourage them to stay longer and spend more.
“Following the success of last year’s “Demystifying the Role of Online Travel Agents”, this event provided the industry with a further opportunity to get under the skin of the top online travel agencies operating in the GB Market,” she added.
Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Markets, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to support this workshop. Given the importance of online travel agencies in holiday decision-making and purchase, it’s critical for our industry partners to understand how OTAs can help them grow their overseas tourism business and ‘close the sale’. Next week, Tourism Ireland will launch our marketing plans for 2020 in Belfast, when we will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that Northern Ireland continues to increase its share of the global travel business.”
Further TED events will be taking place from January to March 2020 and details will be released in the coming months. For further information visit tourismni.com/tnievents
Pictured (back) L-R are speakers and panellists at the event: Rosie Henderson, Expedia, Dave Vincent, Tourism NI, Cormac O’Suilleabhain, Tourism Ireland, Ciaran Connolly, Profile Tree, George Hiles, Secret Escapes, Jon Harrison, Hotelbeds and (front) L-R Monice Lee, Expedia Local Expert, Alan Bulloch, Booking.com, Abi Selby, Spabreaks.comand John Gavin, lastminute.com.