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Watch: Holiday World brings promises of sunshine after landing in Belfast

Travel show is kicked off by Strictly star Debbie

This weekend could be the perfect opportunity to cast aside the January blues and plan some sunshine therapy as Holiday World has landed in Belfast.

Showcasing travel destinations from across the globe, it has arrived at the Titanic Exhibition Centre with a suitcase packed full of travel ideas.

Adding a touch of showbiz on Friday, the fleet-footed star of Strictly Come Dancing, Debbie McGee (right), flew in to officially open the exhibition.

And the 61-year-old, who rose to fame alongside illusionist husband of 28-years Paul Daniels, said everyone needs a touch of holiday magic.

"People want different things from different holidays and I have nothing planned for this year yet, but after walking around here everything looks so tempting," she said.

"I bet there's a few people who go away with something they never expected.

"It's always a lovely feeling to have something planned," she said. "Everyone looks forward to a holiday.

"I loved going to Egypt, Japan was wonderful and Paul once took off in a mobile home but even a city break is ideal just to switch off. I can't wait to have a good old browse around."

Her first port of call could have been locally owned Oasis Travel who have been sending holidaymakers around the world for 35-years.

Lisa Sprake is manager of the company's Holywood branch.

Belfast Telegraph Holiday World 2020 - Day one [photos] Close

Debbie Mc Gee opens the Belfast Telegraph World Travel Show along with Mourneen Ledwith Sales Director Holiday World Show at the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie Mc Gee opens the Belfast Telegraph World Travel Show along with Mourneen Ledwith Sales Director Holiday World Show at the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show. Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie Magee,  Belfast Telegraph senior sales manager Jackie Reid and Maureen Ledwith, Holiday World Show.

Debbie Magee, Belfast Telegraph senior sales manager Jackie Reid and Maureen Ledwith, Holiday World Show.

Caroline Irwin and April White with Golfs Links Holiday Homes Portrush at the Holiday World Show at the TEC centre.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Caroline Irwin and April White with Golfs Links Holiday Homes Portrush at the Holiday World Show at the TEC centre. Photo by Peter Morrison

Large crowds attend the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Large crowds attend the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show. Photo by Peter Morrison

Large crowds attend the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Large crowds attend the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show. Photo by Peter Morrison

Andrea Marlie and Caroline Marlie from Visit USA at the Holiday World Show at the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Andrea Marlie and Caroline Marlie from Visit USA at the Holiday World Show at the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show. Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie McGee  at the Holiday World Show at the TEC centre.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie McGee at the Holiday World Show at the TEC centre. Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie McGee  at the Holiday World Show at the TEC centre.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie McGee at the Holiday World Show at the TEC centre. Photo by Peter Morrison

Large crowds attend the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Large crowds attend the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show. Photo by Peter Morrison

Travel show vox pop Jo Leal and Steve mcwhirger. photos by peter Morrison

Travel show vox pop Jo Leal and Steve mcwhirger. photos by peter Morrison

Travel show vox pop Ben and Marie Ritchie. photos by peter Morrison

Travel show vox pop Ben and Marie Ritchie. photos by peter Morrison

Debbie Mc Gee visits the Belfast Telegraph stand from left, Joanne Uprichard, Margeting Manager and Mourneen Ledwith Sales Director Holiday World Show at the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie Mc Gee visits the Belfast Telegraph stand from left, Joanne Uprichard, Margeting Manager and Mourneen Ledwith Sales Director Holiday World Show at the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show. Photo by Peter Morrison

From left, Jackie Lee, Lisa Campbell and Jo Moore with Virigin Holidays attending the Belfast Telegraph World Travel Show. Photo by Peter Morrison

From left, Jackie Lee, Lisa Campbell and Jo Moore with Virigin Holidays attending the Belfast Telegraph World Travel Show. Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie Mc Gee opens the Belfast Telegraph World Travel Show along with Mourneen Ledwith Sales Director Holiday World Show at the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie Mc Gee opens the Belfast Telegraph World Travel Show along with Mourneen Ledwith Sales Director Holiday World Show at the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show. Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie Mc Gee visits the Belfast Telegraph stand from left, Joanne Uprichard, Margeting Manager and Mourneen Ledwith Sales Director Holiday World Show at the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie Mc Gee visits the Belfast Telegraph stand from left, Joanne Uprichard, Margeting Manager and Mourneen Ledwith Sales Director Holiday World Show at the TEC centre for the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World Show. Photo by Peter Morrison

Oasis Travel’s Lisa Sprake at the Belfast Telegraph World Travel show at the TEC centre in Belfast.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Oasis Travel’s Lisa Sprake at the Belfast Telegraph World Travel show at the TEC centre in Belfast. Photo by Peter Morrison

Debbie Magee,  Belfast Telegraph senior sales manager Jackie Reid and Maureen Ledwith, Holiday World Show.

Debbie Magee, Belfast Telegraph senior sales manager Jackie Reid and Maureen Ledwith, Holiday World Show.

"People like to book in January and this year we've seen a real increase in the number of people looking for something different," she said.

"We are massive on cruises and there are a lot more taking that option."

For Stena Line, who have just launched a new ferry on their Dublin to Holyhead route and will be bringing a new vessel to their Belfast route in March, the priority is to make sure a holiday starts the moment you step on board.

"We sell ourselves on the experience from start to finish," said Sales Executive Adam Bothwell.

"We do hotel packages now and we're finding more and more looking to travel without the expense and hassle of flying."

Closer to home, the north coast of Ireland had plenty of coverage in 2019 and David McMullan, general manager at Golflinks Holiday Homes, is hoping to build on that popularity.

"We've just had a really big year with the Open Golf in town," he said.

"That raised the profile and we're expecting big things in 2020."

Ben and Marion Ritchie from Downpatrick were among the first through the doors, hoping to find the perfect holiday for a special occasion.

"We want somewhere in the sun!" said Ben. "We try to get away a couple of times a year now we're retired."

Canada is already calling to Marion. "We're 40-years married in September so we're looking for something special," she said.

"The Rockies or Canada are appealing."

For Steve McWhirter and Jo Leal from the coastal village of Greenisland, you just can't beat a bit of sunshine for the soul.

"We'll not be heading anywhere cold. We have enough of that here," said Steve.

"I've worked all my life, so now I want to enjoy myself."

Belfast Telegraph