Thirty members of the National Farm Attractions Network have visited Belfast on a fact finding mission organised by Chris Wilson of Streamvale Open Farm.

This is the first visit to Belfast by the network, the trade association for open farms around the UK, which has been in existence for 20 years.

Chris Wilson, Streamvale Open Farm, said: “I have been attending Farm Network best practice events across the UK for several years and members of the network have never before had an opportunity to visit Belfast.

“Now that our city is being awarded for having world class attractions I thought the time was right to extend the invitation to the network to visit Northern Ireland and the interest by the members was incredible.”

The two day visit provided members with a packed itinerary showcasing some of Belfast’s best visitor attractions including a visit to Streamvale Open Farm which is celebrating its 30th birthday and to local visitor attractions including Titanic Belfast.  Members were also treated to a bus tour of the city. A networking dinner offered delegates the opportunity to meet with local business leaders and share knowledge about the unprecedented growth in Belfast’s tourism industry.

Speaking about the success of the visit, David Leon of the National Farm Attraction Network, said: “This was the first time in the association’s 20 year history we have visited Northern Ireland as a group and we could not have wished for a warmer welcome from the staff at all the venues we visited. We had a busy but fascinating three days visiting city centre attractions W5 and Titanic and spending a day touring around greater Belfast, visiting Streamvale Open Farm, The Ark Open Farm, McKees Farm Shop and We are Vertigo.

“We were impressed by the scale of investment, the very high standards of customer service and the innovative ways the attractions are marketing themselves. Group members certainly took away some good ideas that can be implemented back in their own attractions.

“For many of our group it was a first time visit to Belfast and we leave with a new found appreciation for this beautiful city and its friendly people.”

Celebrating 30 years, Streamvale is Northern Ireland’s leading Farm attraction where children and parents can learn and play together.