A group of influential British journalists flew into Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) from Birmingham on Friday (11 November), en route to Sligo for a fact-finding weekend break. Representing various regional newspapers and magazines with a combined circulation of almost 200,000, the group was here to research the many things to see and do here for feature stories they are writing about short breaks and holidays in Sligo. The journalists’ visit was organised by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, in conjunction with bmibaby.
Encouraging visitors to spend time in the various regions of Ireland is a key priority for Tourism Ireland. In GB, Tourism Ireland focuses on a region-to-region approach – to capitalise on the access links between specific areas of Britain and the regions in Ireland, such as the bmibaby flight from Birmingham to Knock.
During their time in Sligo, the journalists enjoyed the Eagles Flying show in Ballymote; met with Yeats enthusiast Stella Mews and took the famous Yeats’ Trail, including Drumcliff; and paid a visit to the Model Art Gallery. Their itinerary also included the scenic Lough Gill Drive, the megalithic tombs at Carrowmore and a visit to the Voya seaweed baths at Strandhill. The group stayed at The Glasshouse hotel.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, said: “Media visits such as this are excellent opportunities to showcase Sligo’s wonderful hospitality and the many things to see and do in this part of Ireland. The publicity value of the articles these journalists will write is fantastic – they will be read by hundreds of thousands of potential holidaymakers. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with bmibaby, Ireland West Airport Knock and other tourism interests to drive demand for this service from Birmingham, and all other services to Knock, to help maintain our vital network of routes and services and to grow tourism business for the west and north-west of Ireland.”
British journalists and representatives of bmibaby explored the Yeats’ Trail in Sligo at the weekend, including (l-r) Lisa Nichole Wright, Express & Star; Marion McMullen, Coventry Telegraph; Kerry O’Coy, Fused Magazine; Louisa Gregson, freelance; Victoria Maltby and Fergus Mulchrone, bmibaby; Cillian Eoin O’Brien, Solihull News; and Thérèse Cunningham, Fáilte Ireland.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 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 6.7 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 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.