Castle Ward 'goes Dutch'

Castle Ward puts NI on the map at major Dutch Tourism Show
Published : 13 Jan 2017 Last update : 16 Jul 2019

The National Trust in partnership with Tourism Ireland has sent representatives to the Netherlands where they will join a range of tourism partners on an international sales mission to bring visitors to Northern Ireland.

Jacqueline Baird and Shirley Millar from Castle Ward in County Down will be showcasing the best of our local attractions at ‘Vakantiebeurs’, a major tourism and leisure fair.

Speaking ahead of the trip, Jacqueline Baird, Visitor Experience Manager at Castle Ward said: ‘In the last few years Castle Ward has seen a significant increase in international visitors. Recently there’s been a surge of interest from America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, along with new and emerging markets such as China.  

‘While Castle Ward has enjoyed global recognition as a film location for Winterfell in the award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones, it’s our beautiful landscapes, cultural history and the outdoor experiences we offer that really appeal to overseas visitors. 

‘This trip is a great opportunity to meet with influential members of the travel trade and showcase our world class scenery, local eccentricities and above all our warm welcome, to an international market.  I am delighted to be representing the National Trust’s very special places in Northern Ireland at the event and look forward to welcoming new overseas visitors to Castle Ward.’

International appeal

The major tourism and leisure show takes place from 10-15 January 2017 and welcomes more than 122k visitors plus influential travel agents, tour operators, airlines and travel journalists.

Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for the Netherlands, said: ‘Vakantiebeurs is Tourism Ireland’s first major promotion of the year in the Netherlands, providing an excellent opportunity to position Northern Ireland as a ‘must see’ destination for Dutch travellers in 2017. This year, Tourism Ireland will continue to promote the distinctiveness of a holiday in Northern Ireland, the good value available and the ease of access from the Netherlands.’

Castle Ward is a walled Irish demesne with two tower houses and Ireland’s largest surviving 18th century ornamental canal. Uniquely, it is also the only truly two-faced house on the island.  Currently welcoming more than 130k visitors annually from more than 50 countries of the world, Castle Ward is already one of Northern Ireland’s leading family visitor attractions.

‘More than just a stately house, Castle Ward has huge appeal for the overseas visitor as it offers a year round daily programme of exciting and engaging activities for all ages, both indoors and out,’ explains Jacqueline. 

‘With 34kms of walking, cycling and horse riding trails; outstanding landscaped parkland; forests that are rich in wildlife and accommodation options that include quirky camping pods and cosy cottages, Castle Ward truly has something for all visitors to enjoy.’