It’s been a rough 12 months in more ways than one for the travel industry, between the major storms, incredible heatwaves, cost of living crisis, wildfires, and air traffic control issues, to name but a few of its challenges.
However, that won’t stop the organisers of the annual Holiday World Belfast show from helping all the itchy footed members of the Northern Ireland public get away on holiday.
Established in 1992 when many tour operators would not extend their services to the north due to the Troubles, Holiday World Belfast has become a staple in many people’s holiday research.
The show has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a trade-only event held in the old ‘Threepenny Bit’ conference suite at the King’s Hall. Now it is now a three-day event attracting more than 11,000 visitors every year and becoming the province’s biggest annual celebration of travel and tourism.
Returning for its 31st year this exhibition promises to be bigger and better than ever. Set to take place at the Titanic Exhibition Centre from January 19 until January 21 Holiday World Belfast will showcase a huge choice of dazzling travel options at home and abroad.
Playing host to international tourist boards, destinations, airlines, ferry companies, hotels and B&Bs, visitor attractions, travel agencies, and a vast range of service providers every kind of holidaymaker is catered for.
Operators and destinations include Egypt, Malta, Mysteries of India, Spain, Cyprus, Travel Solutions, Air Canada, easyJet, Hays Travel, Stena Line, Irish Ferries, Barrhead Travel, Camino groups and French camping sites.
Whether guests are looking to enjoy a family holiday, a city break, sporting getaway, a sneaky staycation or all the above, this three-day event is the perfect place to plan it all. Offering a one-stop-shop for all travel dreams.
Visitors will also have the chance to snap up dozens of exclusive ‘show only’ deals and learn more about current holiday trends, including the cruise sector which is one of the fastest growing areas of the holiday industry.
To reflect this there will be a dedicated cruise pavilion hosted by local cruise specialist Oasis Travel. Those in attendance will be able to find out more about cruise holidays from leading companies such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea Cruises, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, Riviera Travel and Virgin Voyages.
Chief Executive of Business Exhibitions Ltd Maria Hourican said: “There’s no doubt that it’s been a challenging and unpredictable year for the travel and tourism industry around the world, at a time when the industry was recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic – and the global lockdown that literally grounded everyone.
“However, if Covid taught us one thing – or rather reminded us – it’s that the travel industry is incredibly resilient. And people are incredibly resilient. And holidaymakers in particular are incredibly resilient.
“It seems that our annual holiday is the last thing we want to give up. Holidays are sacrosanct to us – and missing out on our dream holiday one year only makes us more determined to get away and enjoy ourselves even more the next year.
“With this in mind, we fully expect 2024 to be a massive year for the travel industry in Northern Ireland and what better way to start planning your holiday than with a visit to Holiday World Belfast in January” she continues.
“Visitors will get the chance to do their travel research face-to-face, chatting with sector professionals in a lively, fun-filled environment that’s all about getting into holiday mood. Everything is right there under one roof and, with so much competition on hand and so many special show-only offers on the go, bargain-hungry visitors know they can secure really keen prices and added value offers.”