Tourism Ireland’s latest promotion is under way in Rome right now – reaching almost 10 million commuters with eye-catching ads for Belfast on buses operating on the city’s busy thoroughfares.

Visit Belfast has teamed up with Tourism Ireland and for a joint campaign, to drive last minute sales of Jet2 flights from Rome to Belfast during September and October. The campaign also includes extensive online advertising highlighting great value fares from €59 – on popular travel sites like EasyViaggio, PaesiOnLine and Skyscanner. Social media is also helping to spread the word – with posts on Twitter and Facebook (Tourism Ireland’s Italian Facebook page has almost 182,000 fans).

In 2014, we welcomed about 21,000 Italian visitors to Northern Ireland, up +13% on the previous year. Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Italy, said: “We are undertaking an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2015, to grow Italian visitor numbers to Northern Ireland. This co-operative campaign with Visit Belfast and is an important element of that programme, to boost travel to Northern Ireland during the autumn months. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with Jet2, Visit Belfast, Belfast International Airport and other tourism partners, through co-operative marketing, to drive demand for this flight, as well as working with other carriers and partners to promote and help maintain vital routes and services to Northern Ireland.”

Niamh Kinsella continued: “Latest NISRA figures indicate that we welcomed an additional +8% visitors from Mainland Europe to Northern Ireland in the first quarter of 2015. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that growth continues. As well as highlighting Northern Ireland’s Game of Thrones connections, we are also promoting the Causeway Coastal Route, the recently opened Gobbins Coastal Path and the refurbished Mount Stewart, as well as iconic attractions such as Titanic Belfast.”