Guide

Niche tourism opportunities

Business tourism

Business tourism is part of what is known as the MICE sector, which stands for:

  • meetings
  • incentive travel
  • conferences
  • events

Business tourism is a growing sector in Northern Ireland and can provide opportunities for your business. It can also help to grow the local leisure tourism market as business visitors may return with their families.

Incentive travel

Companies sometimes want to reward their employees or partners with trips away. This market is known as incentive travel. It differs from leisure tourism as the visitors have not paid for the trip themselves, and probably haven’t had a say in the planning.

Incentive travel provides opportunities for:

  • accommodation providers
  • event venues
  • tourist experiences
  • transport businesses
  • restaurant, bars and hospitality businesses
  • entertainment providers

Usually before an incentive trip is booked, there will be a familiarisation (fam) trip to the destination. This is your chance to impress the potential clients. Fam trips work best when the various providers, destination management companies (DMCs) and other destination stakeholders work together.

Some things that can set you apart to incentive travel buyers include:

  • provide a unique, authentic experience
  • offer exclusive options that aren’t available to leisure guests
  • think creatively when offering event space
  • pay close attention to detail  
  • provide a personalised service to make the trip special
  • research your guests and meet their specific needs (eg hobbies, food preferences)