A group of leading French travel writers flew into Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) last week from Paris (Beauvais), en route to Donegal, as part of a fact-finding trip to Ireland. The journalists’ visit was organised by Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland and Ryanair.
Representing various print and online publications with a combined circulation of over 500,000 readers – or potential French 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 researching about holidays here. It was also a wonderful opportunity to highlight the excellent connectivity between France and the west of Ireland.
As well as a tour of the gardens of Glenveagh Castle, the journalists also paid a visit to Donegal Castle and to the stone fort of Grianán of Aileach. Their itinerary also included a tweed demo in Ardara with local weaver Eddie Doherty and a visit to Rossnowlagh beach. During their time in Donegal, the group stayed at Harveys Point in Donegal town and at Castle Grove Country House Hotel in Letterkenny.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to welcome this group of French travel writers to Co Donegal and to Ireland. Fact-finding visits like this are very important; they are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure for Ireland through the media in France. The articles these journalists will write about Donegal will reach over half a million people around France, helping to inspire them to put Donegal on their holiday ‘wish list’ for 2012. It is now easier than ever to get to the island of Ireland from all regions of France and Tourism Ireland, together with our airline and other tourism partners, is pulling out all the stops to convey the message that there has never been a better time to visit.”
While the island of Ireland holds strong appeal in the French market – with over 400,000 French visitors coming here in 2011 – Tourism Ireland plans to deliver even stronger growth in the coming years. More than half of all French visitors stay in Ireland for one to two weeks.
French journalists at Donegal Castle with Anne Zemmour, Tourism Ireland (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 (+6% 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.