For almost three decades the January show has fired the official starting gun for the start of the holiday season. It’s been a key event for Northern Ireland’s home-based travel sector, and for the myriad of national and international businesses which flock to Belfast each year to showcase a world of opportunities.
Unfortunately, this year, the Belfast Holiday World Show will not take place, but the good news is that Northern Ireland’s longstanding and much-loved festival of travel and tourism will be back in January 2022, for its 28th year, running over the long weekend of 21 – 23 January at TEC, Belfast.
Bigger, better and more welcome than ever and ready to showcase a world of travel opportunities.
Launched as a mini trade show in the ‘Threepenny Bit’ conference rooms of the King’s Hall in the midst of The Troubles, the show has steadily grown in significance and popularity. It relocated in recent years to the TEC in Belfast’s vibrant Titanic Quarter, Holiday World where it showcased confidence and commercial animation as well as providing a fun-filled event to launch Belfast’s annual events calendar.
The deferral of the twenty-eighth show until 2022 in line with COVID-19 guidance was undoubtedly a disappointment for the family-run business behind the event, but it was very much a case of ‘safety first’, coupled with a recognition of what the travel trade actually needs from its biggest and most important ‘shop window’.
Holiday World CEO Maria Hourican says: “After a totally unprecedented year when leisure travel came to an almost complete standstill right across the world, recovery will of course take time. It may be some time too before large scale gatherings such as our major shows can take place again so, with the full backing of the trade, we’re pouring all our enthusiasm and creative planning into a mega show designed to get 2022 off to a dazzling start, for trade and visitors alike.
“Once again Holiday World will be a three-shows-in-one spectacular, incorporating the Caravan & Motorhome Show and our 50+Village. All the favourite features of past shows will be there in plenty, but visitors can expect an additional injection of razzamatazz from an industry which is eager once again to get up close and personal with its customers!
“After a Covid-dictated period in the doldrums, travel professionals at Holiday World Belfast will be demonstrating their resilience and vision with an incredible array of fresh destinations and wonderfully tempting deals and special show-only offers. Importantly, they’ll also be able to provide show-goers with unrivalled insight and expert advice – just what’s needed to break free after lockdown!”
The Covid pandemic which grounded flights and closed tourist destinations worldwide will undoubtedly leave its legacy, but the ever-resilient travel sector is already ramping up recovery plans and looking forward to more positive times ahead.
Joining long-time favourite destinations at Holiday World Belfast in 2022 will be amazing new Holiday Destinations, all offered at super-keen prices. Emerging vacation trends will be represented in abundance too, from hobby holidays, sports and activity-themed breaks to travels to escorted explorations to delight the most intrepid Attenborough fan.
Lockdown has reinforced the value of having a home-away-from home so interest will be higher than ever in caravans, motorhomes and park homes. The specialist Caravan & Motorhome Show will roll out the latest models, from entry level bargains to high end luxe, together with accessible financing options for an investment which will deliver countless holidays over many years.
Northern Ireland has enjoyed a long-running love affair with this supremely family friendly holiday genre and the pandemic has encouraged still more of us to succumb to the lure of investing in our very own versatile holiday home within easy reach, but Holiday World will also feature stunning camping and park home holidays right across these islands and beyond.
Show Sales Director Maureen Ledwith says: “For most of us, holidays are about family time and that focus is all the more important when so many of us have been kept at an enforced distance from those who are closest to our hearts. As we emerge from what has been a supremely difficult time, I think we’ll all be wanting to celebrate with a return to ‘normal’ holidays and breaks. Holiday World Belfast will be the perfect spot to turn those holiday dreams into reality, making marvellous memories of great times together!”
“For all of us who work behind-the-scenes at the show, Holiday World is also about the travel business ‘family’. It’s a tough and competitive sector, but travel professionals are also part of a tight knit and fun-loving community. There’s a serious purpose to their presence at the show and beyond, but they love their work. They are passionate about their products and destinations and they love coming together in Belfast each year.
“We miss their company and craic as well as their ongoing and hugely important input to the Nl economy and we all look forward to rolling out the red carpet to welcome everyone to Holiday World Belfast 2022! We can’t wait!”