The new-look Belfast and Northern Ireland Visitor Information Pod at Belfast International Airport has proven its worth with records being set during its first year in operation.
The eye-catching stand in Arrivals recorded counter enquiries up a third to 82,765 during the year. When enquiries via the digital touch-screen, ‘phone and day-time browsers were added, the total climbed 36.6% to 119,317 enquiries.
Ticket sales for onward travel enjoyed 42% increase.
Visitors gravitate towards the pod to gather information on sights to see, places to stay and onward travel arrangements.
Belfast International Airport Managing Director, Graham Keddie, says the information point, manned by staff who are passionate about promoting Northern Ireland, is proving a real hit with visitors.
Mr Keddie said: “The level of interaction there has been between visitors and the enthusiastic team is impressive. It shows the demand that there is and what can be done to boost the tourism product.
“Real business is being done with a staggering 42% increase in ticket sales. For many, this is the first impression they get of Northern Ireland and they go away impressed, so well done to all concerned.”
Mary Jo McCanny, Director of Visitor Servicing, Visit Belfast, is delighted with the performance of the pod.
Ms McCanny said: “The ability to provide visitor information no matter what time of the day it is, is important and we believe we’ve struck the right balance of having visitor advisers on hand at peak times whilst providing information assistance through the digital touch screens at quieter times .
“The support from the airport’s management team underpins the growing importance of inbound tourism to the region. These figures are setting new records, and we have every confidence that 2016 will see even more impressive results.”