Journalists from leading Italian newspapers and websites – including Il Giornale, La Gazzetta di Parma and veraclasse.it – visited Kilkenny last week to mark ‘Year of Craft 2011’. Invited here by Tourism Ireland in Milan, their itinerary was designed by Fáilte Ireland.
The journalists’ packed schedule included a visit to the Kilkenny Design Centre and the Irish Crafts Portfolio Exhibition at the National Craft Gallery in the Castle Yard. They also tried their hand at pottery-making with the help of renowned potter Nicholas Mosse at his studio in Bennettsbridge. They toured Jerpoint Abbey and Glass Studios and met with artisan cheese-maker Helen Finnegan at Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese in Stoneyford. The group also enjoyed a walking tour of Kilkenny and a guided tour of the castle; and they met with John Delaney, head gardener of Woodstock Gardens & Arboretum in Inistioge for a tour of the gardens there.
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in Italy, said: “There is no substitute for being able to come and experience at first-hand Kilkenny’s strong craft tradition and the wealth of things to see and do here. Visits such as this provide Tourism Ireland with a wonderful opportunity to showcase Kilkenny 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.
“Tourism Ireland has a busy promotional programme in place in Italy throughout 2011, highlighting compelling reasons to visit Ireland with messages of friendliness, humour and inspiring scenery. We are working flat out to win business and to keep the island of Ireland ‘top of mind’ with potential Italian visitors.”
Renowned potter Nicholas Mosse (right) welcomed leading Italian journalists and Fabiana Marraccini, Tourism Ireland (third from left) to his studio in Bennettsbridge, Co Kilkenny during a recent fact-finding visit.
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 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 6.6 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately €3 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 45 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.