A group of influential British journalists visited Donegal and the Inishowen Peninsula last weekend, on a fact-finding visit. Organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with leading Scottish tour operator McKinlay Kidd and Fáilte Ireland, the aim of the visit was to allow them to experience at first-hand what this part of Ireland has to offer British holidaymakers and to highlight the ease and convenience of getting here.
The group included journalists from national GB newspapers, including The Independent on Sunday, the Daily Mail and the Glasgow Herald, as well as Woman & Home magazine. During their time here, the journalists travelled to Malin Head, stopping at Five Finger Strand; they also visited Grianán of Aileach, Bocan Stone Circle near Culdaff and St Patrick’s Cross in Carndonagh. They overnighted at McGrory’s of Culdaff where they enjoyed a fun evening of traditional Irish music.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Britain, said: “We are delighted to bring these journalists to Donegal and to have this opportunity to showcase some of the many attractions that this part of Ireland has to offer British holidaymakers. Visits like these help us to boost the profile of Donegal through positive exposure in the media in GB.
“Our promotional campaigns in Britain are in full swing right now, emphasising the fun of a holiday here and highlighting compelling reasons to visit and the great value available. Despite the fact that the GB market remains fragile, the CSO figures for the first quarter of 2011 show a modest but very welcome +7% growth in visitors from Britain, an encouraging basis on which we will build. And the good news is that interest in visiting the island of Ireland remains high, particularly following the recent visit by Queen Elizabeth II. Our job is to remind people around Britain that Ireland is a friendly and fun place to visit, and to convert that interest into actual travel.”
Neil McGrory (bottom left) of McGrory’s of Culdaff showed British journalists round the Inishowen Peninsula. Also pictured are (back l-r) Martin Symington, the Daily Mail; Rob Adams, Glasgow Herald; Oliver Bennett, Independent on Sunday; and (front) Jane Hayward, Women & Home magazine; Carole Pugh, Heather McKinlay and Robert Kidd, all of McKinlay Kidd (tour operator).
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 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 €3.1 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.