Images of Belfast were beamed into the homes of hundreds of thousands of people across Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg recently, on the popular National Geographic Channel.
A TV crew from National Geographic in the Netherlands travelled here to film a programme about Belfast’s connections with the Titanic. The resulting, specially-produced programme – called ‘Cradle of the Titanic’ – aired to an audience of over half a million viewers in the Benelux countries during two ‘Titanic weekends’ of programming in early April. In the programme, Felix Maginn – Belfast-born lead singer of the popular Dutch band Moke – showed TV presenter Eddy Zoey around his home city and filled him in on its Titanic history. The visit was organised by Tourism Ireland in Amsterdam in association with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Finola O’Mahony, Tourism Ireland’s head of Europe, said: “Interest in our Titanic story among the media in the Benelux countries, and indeed elsewhere across Mainland Europe and the world, has been phenomenal. We have invited hundreds of journalists to come to Northern Ireland and see Titanic Belfast for themselves – so they can write or broadcast about it on their return home. The publicity value of this programme on National Geographic alone is fantastic; it really is an excellent way of showcasing Belfast and its Titanic connections to a large audience of over 500,000 potential holidaymakers.
“The superb programme of new attractions opening, and events and historic anniversaries taking place in Northern Ireland this year, has presented Tourism Ireland with a significant opportunity to deliver a new message to potential visitors about Northern Ireland and to show them why they should choose to come here. Our ni2012 promotions are capitalising on this unprecedented opportunity and highlighting the strengths of Northern Ireland – iconic experiences, warm, friendly people and value for money.”
Felix Maginn, Belfast-born singer of well-known Dutch band Moke (second left) showed TV presenter Eddy Zoey from the Netherlands (third left) around his home city; they are pictured in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter with the National Geographic film crew including Erro Verschoor (director), Mark Thur (audio), Sonja van der Sar, Paul Lensing (camera) and Brian Patterson, Belfast Titanic Society (right).
For further information:
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260 Mob: 07766 527719
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.
• In 2011, 1.5 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland (+4% on 2010), delivering revenue of £368 million.
• 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.