Bloggers who write regularly for some of Britain’s top travel, arts and culture websites in Britain – including Open Magazine, 501places, The Arbuturian and Travelbite – visited the West of Ireland last weekend. Carefully selected and invited here by Tourism Ireland in London, their itinerary was designed by Fáilte Ireland.
Social media sites and blogs have a huge influence on travel decisions. Increasingly, holiday choices are 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 flew direct from Birmingham to Ireland West Airport Knock with bmibaby, accompanied by Managing Director of bmibaby, Julian Carr. Encouraging visitors to spend time in the various regions of Ireland, as well as working with carriers to build demand for routes, are key priorities for Tourism Ireland. In Britain, Tourism Ireland focuses on a region-to-region approach – to capitalise on the excellent access links between specific areas of Britain and the regions in Ireland, such as the bmibaby service from Birmingham to Knock.
During their time here, the group spent time in Cong, where they visited Ashford Castle and dined at Cullen’s Cottage. They took a ferry to Inis Mór where they enjoyed a tour of the island before returning to Galway city to soak up the atmosphere at this year’s Galway Arts Festival.
Lawrence Bate, Head of Tourism Ireland in Great Britain, said: “Fact-finding visits such as this are extremely important in helping to build awareness of the fantastic tourism product on offer in Mayo and Galway, the wonderful hospitality here, as well as ease of direct access from Great Britain to the West of 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 are delighted that the bloggers have taken the time to visit the West of Ireland. Tourists are increasingly reliant on social media sites and blogs to inspire and inform them about their holiday choices – so it makes sense for us to bring these bloggers here, to experience this part of Ireland at first-hand for themselves.
“Great Britain is the largest and most important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and we in Tourism Ireland are working flat out to keep the West of Ireland ‘top of mind’ with the British consumer. Our mid-year promotional campaign is in full swing, highlighting great reasons to visit and the tremendous value on offer, including the great value fares to Knock, as well as ease of access to the West of Ireland. The message is that there has never been a better, nor better value, time to visit the West of Ireland.”
Bloggers from some of Britain’s top travel, arts and culture websites visited Ashford Castle, accompanied by Julian Carr, Managing Director of bmibaby (second from right).
For further press information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Notes 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.
• Approximately 7.5 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2009, delivering revenue of €3.5 billion.
• 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.