26 Oct 2011

A number of tourism operators from around Northern Ireland have been touring the Southern states of the US recently with Tourism Ireland.

The packed schedule saw the Northern Ireland “ambassadors” visit the cities of Nashville and Pigeon Forge (Tennessee), and Atlanta (Georgia), to promote Northern Ireland, helping to bring the holiday experience here to life, preparing the way for NI2012 and highlighting Titanic Belfast, Londonderry, our heritage, music and world-class food, as well as the strong ancestral links between this part of the US and Northern Ireland. They met with influential tour operators and journalists in the three cities – including key print, broadcast and online media contacts such as Channel 11’s The Daily Buzz (a syndicated morning show that airs across the US to over 2 million people) and radio talk show host Stephanie Abrams who presents Travel with Stephanie Abrams and Travelers411. 

Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s executive vice-president North America, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to be in Nashville and the Southern states together with our Northern Ireland tourism partners. This promotion is helping to keep Northern Ireland high on the list of places that Americans want to visit in 2012, highlighting it as a fantastic holiday destination. We are targeting the Scots-Irish and Ulster Scots market, focusing on the strong ancestral links between this part of the US and Northern Ireland. 

“Our messages have included: there has never been a better time to visit Northern Ireland, with the many exciting events planned as part of NI2012 and the opening of iconic new attractions like Titanic Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre; the welcome for American visitors has never been warmer; and there is a superb range of interesting things to see and do right around Northern Ireland."

Tourism Ireland’s promotional programme in the run-up to and during NI2012 has now kicked off. Over the next 12 months the organisation will invest millions of pounds in the most extensive programme of marketing activity ever undertaken for Northern Ireland around the world – to include TV, press, radio and cinema advertising, extensive online campaigns and social media activity, promotional events and publicity. 

                                                                                                              Pictured in Nashville, Tennessee were (l-r) Sandy Smith, CS Lewis Association of Ireland; Ruth Moran, Tourism Ireland; the mayor of Nashville, Karl Dean; Martin McCrossan, Derry City Tours; Susie Millar, Titanic Tours; and chef Noel McMeel, Lough Erne Resort.


Further media information:
Elaine Moore / Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260  Mobile: 077 6652 7719

Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 40,000 jobs.
• Approximately 1.4 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately £210 million. 
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.


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