There’s no shortage of great experiences on offer in Northern Ireland so showcasing it as a must-see destination, while promoting Belfast as a new flight route, wasn’t hard.
In a bid to enhance Northern Ireland’s ever-improving flight network, the clients, Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport, decided to host senior executives from a range of airlines around the world, for a one-off, show-stopping day of scenic activities, followed by a delicious gala dinner.
Part of the Routes Europe event, this would provide an opportunity for airlines, airports and tourism authorities to meet to discuss the shape of the World’s future air route networks.
This tailor-made tour provided a perfect sales pitch for the airline industry. Airline schedulers and CEOs were given the unique chance to see all that Northern Ireland offers, as a visitor and business tourism destination and to positively affect decision-making around launching new routes.
The destination management company (DMC) Bespoke Northern Ireland was based in Northern Ireland and so had insider knowledge around venues and accommodation. The city centre property, The Merchant Hotel, a five-star award-winning accommodation proved an excellent base for this VIP group of delegates. The extra touches are what this hotel excels at; the half bottle of red wine, a luxury turndown service and a ‘cook to order’ breakfast, to name but a few.
First on the agenda for the day’s activities was the magnificent Causeway Coastal Route, guests travelling there by helicopter for a spectacular aerial experience. With an itinerary designed to include luxury and exploration, delegates then set off for a private tour of the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site, followed by a Bushmills Whiskey Distillery VIP experience with the Master Blender.
After a morning of sightseeing, delegates had worked up an appetite for fresh seafood, with local sea trout and cod being the popular lunch choices. It wouldn’t be a luxury lunch without Bushmills Irish Coffees all round, in the cosy surroundings of the Bushmills Inn, a 17th coaching inn steeped in history.
An evening of luxury beckoned with the night’s activities beginning in the lavish Merchant Hotel Champagne Bar. Delegates then went on to Hillsborough Castle’s Queen’s Drawing Room for more bubbles — this time the Historic Royal Palaces’ very own Highgrove Champagne.
Award-winning catering company Yellow Door had created a sumptuous menu of local produce that included pan-seared Northern Irish sea scallops followed by caramelised pear and Bushmills Whiskey tart with butterscotch sauce. Guests were treated to entertainment by acclaimed mentalist and mind reader, David Meade, who used his hypnotic charm to convince the clients to invest heavily in new Belfast airline routes.
Northern Ireland was showcased as both a destination for leisure and business to some of the most influential stakeholders in the Aviation Industry. There was excellent feedback from Ellie McGimpsey of Belfast City Airport and Deborah Harris of Belfast International Airport:
“Not only was the itinerary delivered seamlessly over the day, it delivered unique and exclusive access to some of the most spectacular elements of the Northern Ireland experience. Our guests were thrilled with their experiences and we wouldn’t hesitate to work with Bespoke Northern Ireland in the future.”