A group of top travel writers from Spain visited Northern Ireland last week as part of a fact-finding trip. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland in Madrid, the journalists’ itinerary was designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and reflected the ‘Halloween’ time of year.
During their visit, the group had a chance to discover and experience at first-hand some of the best that Northern Ireland has to offer potential Spanish visitors – including a drive along the famous Causeway Coastal Route, taking in the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, the Giant’s Causeway and finishing with a story telling session around the fire in the Bushmills Inn with professional storyteller Liz Weir. The following day the visitors spent some time exploring the myths and legends of Belfast and took part in a ghost walking tour from the gates of the City Hall, following a route through the shadows and alleyways of haunted Belfast.
Joanne Murphy, Tourism Ireland Spain, said: “Media visits such as these are extremely important to help build awareness of Belfast and the rest of Northern Ireland. The publicity value of the articles these journalists will write is fantastic – they will be read by many thousands of potential holidaymakers.”
Tourism Ireland’s promotional programme in Spain has been highlighting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination throughout 2010. Tourism Ireland has been placing significant emphasis on value for money, to drive home to Spanish consumers the message about the superb range of offers available here. The message in Spain is that there has never been a better time to visit Northern Ireland.
Pictured before their tour of the historical Friar’s Bush Graveyard in Belfast are Susan Bolger, Tourism Ireland Madrid; Javier Guitierrez, Placet magazine; Gontzal Ladeta, El Mundo magazine; Louise Clarke, tour guide; Gerry Ward, tour guide; Maria Rodriguez, LaRazon (Sunday Supplement); Jordi Espanol, Gidona magazine and Pedro Loscos, Parisos and Viajeros (internet travel websites).
For further information:
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260 Mobile: 07766 527719
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supported approximately 40,000 jobs.
• Over 1.4 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland in 2009, delivering revenue of £271 million.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 20 different languages covering every continent. In 2009 discoverireland.com attracted a record 13+ million unique visitors, a +34% increase in visits on 2008.