The calm before the Live It Experience It storm…

By ELEANOR MCGILLIE 20 February, 2017

We are officially launching Live It Experience It on Monday, February 27, 2017. The invites have been posted and the RSVPs are coming in.  This is going to be a pretty special day for us because during our launch we will be making a special partnership announcement which will present major opportunities for tourism businesses.

Live It Experience It is a cluster of tourism business which promote Northern Ireland through its land, air and water based activities, food and drink and great places to stay

But before our launch we have to say thank you to a few inspirational people who have been integral along our journey.

Ricky Martin – surfer and surfboard maker

Firstly, a big shout out to Ricky Martin, owner of Alive Surf School and co-founder of The Skunkworks Surfboard Co. Ricky created the concept of cluster collaborations a few years ago before anyone else thought of it. It was he who clocked that there was no platform whereby people in Northern Ireland or indeed tourists could find out what there was to do, where they could stay and where was cool to eat in Northern Ireland. He created a cluster of tourism businesses and low and behold it took off.

However, when he started pitching to Richard Branson in the Pitch To Rich campaign Ricky transferred the cluster concept to Eleanor McGillie who saw the huge potential in driving businesses forwards through collaborations. After two years of careful planning, rebranding and audience building, we are ready. So thanks Ricky for your inspiration and your drive to help independent tourism businesses which contribute so much to our overall economy. We can’t wait to get our hands on a Skunkworks surfboard!

surfing in Northern Ireland - Ricky Martin, owner of Alive Surf School and Co-Owner of The Skunkworks Surfboard Co

Will and James – the design team

Another shout out goes to Will and James – a developer and designer who have been working with Eleanor for over four years now. These guys have the patience of a saint! These two guys have created a beast of a website which is so content hungry and it looks amazing even if we do say so ourselves. When we launch, we will populate this site with awesome content and imagery about tourism businesses right across Northern Ireland. Thanks guys because no job was ever too big or no stupid question ever too stupid. The brief was pretty complex and the feel for the cluster had to be reflected in the branding and we won’t be shy in saying that the compliments we get about the design and feel of the website are phenomenal. Thanks! And we look forward to helping small tourism businesses get online.

BLOG - Official launch of Live It Experience It

John Bustard – the legendary SUPper

John Bustard – what’s SUP!! John is a legend. John Bustard is someone who thinks outside of the box all of the time. His genius approach to technology and tourism is top class. John has been instrumental in meaningful introductions and has always been on the other end of a phone or else on stage at some tourism conference delivering his wise words. Thank you John. We know, and acknowledge, the most recent meaningful introduction has helped form the special partnership which will be announced on Monday. Thank you too for getting us involved in the Ulster Business School final year project. The students were great and quite frankly, gave us a motivational kick to keep pushing ahead. And here we are!

BLOG - John Bustard SUP - who has been a great friend of Live It Experience It

And finally, just a thank you note from Live It Experience It to everyone who likes our social posts, sends us in photographs and engages with us. We would like to offer you the chance to connect with us further by asking you to help us tell the story of Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland is top class. We just have to get outdoors and enjoy it. We would love it if you can help us share stories of Northern Ireland through video, photographs and blogs.

We have some fantastic bloggers on board already and they are keen creative writers or journalists who quite simply just want to tell the the stories of their adventures.

Whether you like blogging about land, air or water based activities, food and drink or love staying in cool and quirky places, let us know and maybe you can join our growing writing community.

If you would like to be in our community by submitting blogs, video or photographs please let us know by emailing

Thanks very much indeed. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for caring.

Live It Experience It’ is a group of journalists and travel writers who tell the story of our members. We work  collaboratively with our members, which are tourism businesses, to promote Northern Ireland through water, air and land based activities, food and drink and great places to stay. Together we let our visitors know of all of the amazing things Northern Ireland has to offer.  To become a member business in of ‘Live It Experience It’ call our office on 028 3756 8436 or please submit your information through our online form. T&Cs apply –  Sign Up Here Let us tell your story! Live It Experience It is the NW200 tourism partner for 2018. 

Live It Experience It - promotes land, air and water based activities in Northern Ireland, food and drink and great places to stay

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Eleanor McGillie

About Eleanor McGillie

Eleanor spent eight years working in the south west of England - one of the UK's most popular tourism hotspots. During her stint working with key players in the tourism sector she developed a love for all things outdoor adventure. As a journalist she got to travel to remote corners of the world to write travel features about the experiences of a particular place. Northern Ireland's story needs to be told and needs to reach new audiences. Live It Experience It aims to attract tourists from outside Ireland, people from Ireland and people who live in Northern Ireland but aren't aware of the extent of the adventures on our own doorsteps. Eleanor is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) at Associate Level