As Northern Ireland prepares to welcome an anticipated 215,000 visitors over the next two weeks for The 148th Open at Royal Portrush, the findings of Tourism NI’s Visitor Attitude Survey, launched today, provide a clear insight into what visitors can expect when they arrive.

A friendly welcome, beautiful scenery and landscapes, quality attractions and a rich historical and cultural offering have helped Northern Ireland meet and exceed the expectations for 97% of leisure visitors with 95% of out of state leisure visitors saying they would recommend Northern Ireland to others.  The survey was completed with leisure visitors across Northern Ireland and provides detailed analysis about what they really thought about their time here.

Launching the Survey findings, Aine Kearney, Tourism NI Director of Business Support and Events, said:

“As we prepare to host one of the world’s major sporting events of the year, and the biggest event ever to be staged here, it is clear that local people and those who work across the tourism and hospitality sector play a major part in the success of Northern Ireland’s tourism offering, as evidenced by the results of our Visitor Attitude Survey. We want to ensure that those visiting for The Open have the same positive experience that will enable them to recommend Northern Ireland as a must-see destination for friends and family so that we see a high level of repeat business in the years ahead.”

“Overall these findings demonstrate that Northern Ireland has a tourism offering to be proud of that can attract people from across the world to visit. Once here, it is the welcome they receive and the friendliness, professionalism and experience they have with local people and staff, be it in a hotel, café, bus, taxi or anywhere else that leads them to recommend Northern Ireland.”

The friendliness of local people and staff has helped greatly in ensuring leisure visitors had a very positive experience. Responding visitors all marked Northern Ireland’s friendliness at over eight marks out of ten. These included, feeling welcomed on arrival (8.11)experiencing welcoming and friendly staff when eating out (8.54); professional and friendly taxi drivers (8.68) and bus drivers (8.49)with the friendly welcome from staff at their accommodation scoring 8.87 out of ten.

In addition, 94% reported that their accommodation also met or exceeded expectations with quality, value for money and customer service all scoring over eight out of ten.

The most popular reasons for choosing Northern Ireland as a destination were to visit a specific attraction, to see the beautiful scenery and landscapes and to explore the local history and culture.

Our local attractions also scored highly, again at more than eight out of ten, with people finding attractions enjoyable and interesting (8.34)Notably, 87% of leisure visitors travelling with family said that Northern Ireland’s attractions were family friendly for all ages. The cleanliness of beaches also scored well (8.41) with Northern Ireland’s beautiful scenery/ landscapes scoring 8.82 out of ten.

For more information about The Open or the Visitor Attitude Survey, please visit

The 148th Open takes place at Royal Portrush from 14th to 21st July 2019.

‘Mount Rushmore’ style sculpture of Fairhead for the 148th Open

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After a wait of nearly 70 years, the much anticipated return of The Open to Royal Portrush is just three weeks away. The 148th Open at Royal Portrush is being widely welcomed as a showcase of epic proportions, not only for the golf club but for the town, for the Causeway Coast and Glens area and for Northern Ireland as a whole. As the battle for the famous Claret Jug and title of Champion Golfer of the Year unfolds on the North Coast, the sport’s greatest players, including Northern Ireland’s home-grown heroes, will be welcomed and inspired by approximately 215,000 local, national and international golf fans, who will relish every moment with passion and pride. The setting, atmosphere and drama of The Open in Northern Ireland will be beamed into an estimated 600 million homes worldwide, promoting the best of what the region has to offer and enhancing our reputation as a premier destination for international events. The biggest sporting spectacle ever to be staged here has been more than five years in the making, and the combined economic benefit from hosting golf’s original championship will be felt for years to come. #servicedapartments #northernireland #belfast #theopen @tigerwoods @rorymcilroy @graeme_mcdowell @theopen #golf

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