Storyteller Liz Weir, Don Wilmont (Causeway Coast & Glens),Róisín Wallace (Manor House Hotels) and Brian Hurell (Ulsterbus Tours)
promoting the Causeway Coast
Arlene Foster added: “Tourism is now one of the most important indigenous industries in Northern Ireland and plays a chief role in our export economy. In the period 2002-2009, overseas tourism contributed over £2.1billion to the economy of Northern Ireland. During the current difficult economic period Tourism Ireland has embarked on a specific Northern Ireland marketing programme highlighting gateway cities with direct access, such as New York.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Peter Corry, Kintra, Kabosh, the McPeake Family, USG Performin Arts Presenters and others. Food will feature strongly as acclaimed chefs Noel McMeel and Neven Maguire will bring the best of Northern Ireland culinary expertise to New Yorkers. There will also be a full programme of lectures, story-telling and other performances highlighting the many aspects of our unique Northern Ireland culture. Representatives of the tourism industry will bring the different counties of Northern Ireland to life for visitors to the exhibition.
Promoting Belfast’s maritime heritage are Susan Millar(Titanic Boat Tours), Susie McCullough (NITB),Robert Cusack (Go Global Travel Group),Wallace Lawson (Titanic Foundation Ltd) andDerek Booker (Lagan BoatTours
Culture and Arts Minister Nelson McCausland added: “This celebration includes many unique aspects of Northern Ireland culture and I hope that millions of New Yorkers, as well as visitors to this great city, will get a flavour of the real Northern Ireland as they pass through Vanderbilt Hall.
“The exhibition presents a marvellous opportunity to showcase the very best of what Northern Ireland has to offer visitors. People all around the world know something of the story of Titanic whose centenary we will celebrate in 2012.
"Less well known is the fact that Belfast was the birthplace of Titanic and of a great many other ships of that era. The design and building of the iconic liner confirmed Northern Ireland as a world leader in manufacturing and engineering.