A group of influential British journalists flew into Knock Airport earlier this week, on a fact-finding visit of Co Mayo. Organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with the Ice House in Ballina 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 access from various airports around Britain to Knock Airport and the West of Ireland. The group included journalists from national British newspapers, including the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Star, as well as online fashion magazine Agent2.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s newly appointed Head of Britain, said: “We are delighted to bring these journalists to Mayo and to have this opportunity to showcase the wealth of attractions in this part of Ireland that hold huge appeal for British holidaymakers. The fight to restore growth from Britain, our most important market, is under way. Flexibility will be one of the hallmarks of our activity in Britain for the coming year. Our TV advertising campaign in GB will feature the West and will emphasise the fun of a holiday here. The Ireland message will be highly visible throughout the twelve months of 2011 – on TV, radio, online, as well as through publicity and social media.
“Tourism Ireland will continue to undertake co-operative campaigns with airlines serving Knock Airport, to help drive demand for those important services. The good news is that interest in visiting the island of Ireland remains high. Our job in 2011 will be to remind people around Britain that Ireland is a friendly and fun place to visit, and to convert that interest into actual travel.”
During their time in Mayo, the journalists stayed at the Ice House Hotel in Ballina and enjoyed a coach tour of the area taking in some of the local sites like St Muredach’s Cathedral in Ballina, Moyne Abbey, Rosserk Abbey and the Killala Round Tower as well as a guided tour at Foxford Woollen Mills.
Welcoming the journalists to the Ice House Hotel in Ballina are Dara Cruise, General Manager (left) and Charlene Boyle, Tourism Ireland Great Britain (third from right) with Kate Baily, the Daily Express; Louisa Thiele, Healthy magazine; Luciana Gillfillian, Agent2 magazine; Sonia Juttla, the Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine; Laura Hills and Jennifer Williams, Who’s Jack & Jack TV.
Sinéad Grace, Media & PR Manager, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 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.
• 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 42 different websites, providing information in 20 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.