As proud members of the Irish chapter of the global Business Tourism association, the Society of Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) we recently had the incredible opportunity of hosting a ‘Post Summit’ Fam Trip for the Board! Over the course of two days these Incentive Travel CEOs, Business Owners and Global Sales Directors, who are top in their field in the world, were introduced our abundance of hidden gems of NI!
And our guests from Mexico, China, India, the US and Ireland were absolutely stunned!
Day 1 was jam-packed with visits to the City Hall, the award-winning Titanic Belfast, Queen’s University Belfast and Crumlin Road Gaol. Each of these locations fascinated the SITE members with their captivating and unique history. Thank you to our Lord Mayor for such a warm reception, and sorry you nearly lost your chain to the SITE President!
The history and background of these locations were seamlessly mixed in with the Business Tourism detail of the meeting spaces that the unique and quirky venues can offer. Thank you to our wonderful tour guide Eimear Flanagan at Away A Wee Walk who swapped her hiking boots for heels and who now also knows about maximum seating numbers and Dining options to add to her history dates.
Dinner at the newly awarded 5 Star Filtwilliam Hotel was sublime, with roof top views of the city, breath-taking music and food.
Day 2 was a chance to showcase our fabulous Belfast Waterfront, the biggest, most flexible event space on the island of Ireland. And these seasoned professionals were genuinely impressed.
Then on to Ulster Folk and Transport Museum who gave us the serious red carpet treatment as history was brought to life with traditional costumes and interactive experiences such as, ‘hands on’ baking, the grooming of Coco the donkey, ( Yes, Coco stole the show!) a treasure hunt, penny sweets and more!
After seafood chowder at NI Food Tour’s Tracey’s home and a fascinating potato bread cookery lesson, it was on to ‘Winterfell’ - a visit to a unique Game of Thrones location. It’s safe to say the SITE members weren’t that bothered about this award winning TV serious until this point - but we had them hooked when they left! They particularly enjoyed posing on the Iron Throne and who doesn’t like dressing up, playing sword fighting and drinking Winterfell Ale!
The day finished perfectly with a truly royal experience at Hillsborough Castle - another magnificent location and event space. The Highgrove bubbles and chocolate strawberries were a perfect touch.
The trip came to a close with a showcase of fantastic local produce and a top culinary master class at a private dinner in the Culloden Estate and Spa, where the group fed back to the NI SITE members about their views on our exciting way forward – and the message was…’ NI has some of the best product and infrastructure in the world, for a fantastic Incentive Travel programme– now just tell everyone about it’! Go we guess we are going to busy telling the World!
Quick thank you to our fellow NI SITE members from Tourism NI, Hasting Hotels, Merchant Hotel and Fitzwilliam Hotel, as well as SITE Ireland Board, Ken Lyons ( KL Communications) and Michael Dalton ( Moloney & Kelly) – a true example of a #TeamEffort.