A group of travel and lifestyle journalists from France visited Northern Ireland last week. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland in Paris, the journalists’ itinerary was designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
The writers represented a variety of publications – including luxury magazine Voyage de Luxe, online publication lemagazine.info and a daily, Breton newspaper Le Telegramme. Their itinerary, which focused on food and crafts and the creative industries, included Dundrum Bay Oyster Fishery; a guided tour of Belfast; the Blue Beans Craft Shop and Gallery in Castlewellan and Eden Pottery in Millisle.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Southern Europe, said: “We were delighted to welcome this group of French journalists for their first ever visit to Northern Ireland. They were really impressed by the range of things to see and do here, the diverse scenery and of course, by the friendliness of the people they met. They also enjoyed some of our great natural produce, in particular the fresh shellfish and seafood of County Down and the ales brewed at Hilden.
“Fact-finding visits like this are extremely important, to help us get positive exposure for Northern Ireland, through both online and print media in France. This is an excellent way of promoting the wonderful tourism product on offer here, as the articles these influential journalists write will be read by thousands of potential French holidaymakers.
“France is an important market for tourism and last year we welcomed 37,000 French visitors to Northern Ireland. We have a strong and comprehensive promotional programme under way in France this year, with significant emphasis on value for money, to drive home to French consumers our message that there has never been a better time to visit.”
Pictured enjoying the colourful products at Eden Pottery in Millisle is French journalist Michele Berzosa with Heather Walton, Eden Pottery and Anne Zemmour, Tourism Ireland France.
For further information:
Elaine Moore / Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel 208 7035 9260 Mob 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 supports 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.