Bloggers who write regularly for some of France’s favourite travel, arts and culture websites visited Belfast earlier this week. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland in Paris, their itinerary was designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Social media sites and blogs have a huge influence on travel decisions, with choices about holidays increasingly influenced by bloggers and online communities. Bloggers are constantly uploading and sharing their travel experiences and these are widely read by people researching and planning holidays.
The group’s itinerary included downloading the Belfast City of Music iPhone app, which took them on a tour of the city including the Ulster Hall and the scene of the old Wizard Studios where the Clash recorded their punk classic ‘Teenage Kicks’. They also visited Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory, the Ulster Museum and St George’s Market as well, as taking a black taxi tour of the city.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s Manager of Southern Europe, said: “Fact-finding visits such as this are extremely important in helping to build awareness of the fantastic tourism product on offer in Belfast, the wonderful hospitality here, as well as ease of access from France to Northern Ireland. Detailed accounts and photographs of their visit have already been posted online by the bloggers. The publicity value of their articles is fantastic – they will be read by many thousands of potential holidaymakers.
“We have a very busy promotional programme under way in France right throughout 2010, highlighting compelling reasons to visit and placing significant emphasis on value for money. In this difficult year for tourism, we in Tourism Ireland are working hard to win business and to keep Belfast and Northern Ireland ‘top of mind’ with potential French visitors.”
French bloggers at Aunt Sandra's Candy Factory with Séverine Tharreau, Tourism Ireland France (centre).
For further information:
Clair Balmer / Elaine Moore, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260 Mob: 077 6652 7719
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 41 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages covering every continent. In 2009 discoverireland.com attracted a record 13+ million unique visitors, a +34% increase in visits on 2008.