Invest NI helps local accommodation providers target new markets

Twelve local tourist accommodation providers are aiming for increased business from international markets following their participation in an Invest Northern Ireland tourism initiative.

The Invest NI Visa Programme is designed to help local hotels, youth hostels and self-catering units boost their turnover by further improving their service delivery and developing a focused export marketing plan.

Representatives from the twelve accommodation providers will next week visit the renowned Schindlerhof Hotel in Nuremburg, Germany to learn from its proprietor Klaus Kobjoll.

Kevin McCann, Invest NI’s Director of Transport, Construction and Tourism, said: “Despite the current economic climate, Northern Ireland still attracts many foreign visitors thanks to, for example, the strength against Sterling of currencies like the Euro and Dollar. The Visa Programme helps local hoteliers and proprietors of self-catering units and youth hostels make the most of this by taking simple steps to refine their service offering whilst focusing their marketing activities on specific target audiences.

“After his inspirational input into last year’s programme, we are pleased to offer participants this year access to the expertise of innovative hotelier Klaus Kobjoll. His hotel, the Schindlerhof in Germany, has an uncompromising emphasis on customer service and innovation that has earned it a European Quality Award and an internationally recognised reputation.

“By adding to their capability and incorporating a greater focus on international marketing, local providers will be better equipped to emulate the success of the Schindlerhof and secure return visits and invaluable word-of-mouth advertising from overseas guests.”  

As part of the five-month programme, participants have also received expert advice from tourism and marketing experts, including former Director General of Tourism Ireland Matt McNulty and David Carson, Professor of Marketing at the University of Ulster.