Eight leading travel and lifestyle journalists from Belgium and the Netherlands flew into Cork Airport at the weekend, to take part in a fact-finding trip of Cork city and county. Their visit was organised by Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland.
Representing various online and print publications with a combined circulation of about two million readers – or potential Belgian and Dutch holidaymakers – the journalists were here to experience at first-hand some of the many things to see and do in this part of Ireland for feature stories they are planning to write about short breaks and the wonderful food on offer here. It was also a fantastic opportunity to highlight the ease of access from the Benelux region and the Aer Lingus flights from both Brussels and Amsterdam to Cork.
The journalists’ itinerary included a cheese-tasting session at Durrus Farmhouse Cheese on the Sheep’s Head peninsula and a guided tour of The James Turrell Irish Sky Garden Crater at Liss Ard Estate in Skibbereen. In Kinsale, they visited Charles Fort, enjoyed a guided tour of the town and stopped off for a spot of lunch at Jim Edwards. They enjoyed a sea safari around the harbour in Cork city, a walking tour of the city and dinner at the Boardwalk Bar & Grill on Lapp’s Quay. They also visited Blarney Castle, before travelling on to Midleton and the Jameson Whiskey Experience.
Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s manager in the Netherlands, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to introduce these journalists to some of the many wonderful attractions of Cork city and county. For many of the group, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by the spectacular scenery, the high quality of the food experience, as well as by the friendliness of the people they met. Fact-finding visits like this are very important; they are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure in Belgium and the Netherlands about our superb tourism and food product and the wonderful hospitality on offer in Cork and Ireland. The publicity value of the articles these journalists will write is fantastic – they will be read by approximately two million potential holidaymakers – helping to encourage readers and ‘foodies’ alike to come and sample the destination for themselves.”
Belgian and Dutch journalists at Charles Fort, Kinsale, Co Cork, with Ruairí Lehmann, Tourism Ireland (left), and tour guide Mia Craig (third right).
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.
• In 2011, approximately 7.3 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland (+4% on 2010), delivering revenue of approximately €3.4 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 2011, discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ will be Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative and will consist of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country.
• Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ this autumn around the globe, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.