Co Meath played host to a group of leading Italian journalists over the weekend. One of the highlights of their visit – organised by Tourism Ireland in Milan in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland – was a visit to Causey Farm near Kells, where they got the chance to “be Irish for a day”, learning how to bake brown bread, play the bodhrán, stack turf and even trying some Irish dancing steps. The journalists also enjoyed a guided tour of the Brú na Bóinne visitor centre and Newgrange; a fun whiskey tasting tour with Lord Alex Mount Charles at Slane Castle; a stop at Trim Castle as well as a visit to Killeen Castle, venue of the 2011 Solheim Cup.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in Italy, said: “There is no substitute for being able to come and experience what Co Meath and Ireland have to offer at first-hand. Visits such as this by influential journalists provide Tourism Ireland with a wonderful opportunity to showcase Co Meath in Italy and help us to build awareness of this part of Ireland, as the articles the journalists will write when they return home will be read by thousands of potential holidaymakers.
“Italy is an important market for tourism to the island of Ireland, delivering 276,000 visitors last year. Tourism Ireland has had a strong promotional programme in place throughout 2010, highlighting the island of Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination. We have been placing significant emphasis on value for money this year, to drive home to Italians our message about the superb range of offers available around the island of Ireland. It is absolutely essential that we convey the message that there has never been a better time for Italians to visit the island of Ireland.”
Learning to stack turf during their ‘be Irish for a day’ experience at Causey Farm near Navan are Italian journalists with Fabiana Marraccini, Tourism Ireland Italy (standing - second from right).
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Note to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• 7.6 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2009, delivering revenue of €3.46 billion.
• 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.