Millions of potential holidaymakers all over the US are reading about the west of Ireland this month, on the travel pages of the hugely popular Huffington Post news website, which attracts an average audience of 34 million readers each day.
Richard Bangs – an Emmy award-winning videographer and travel correspondent for the Huffington Post – visited the west of Ireland late last year, as a guest of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. The resulting series of features, entitled The Savage Craic of Western Ireland, has now been posted to the Huffington Post site and includes extensive video footage and photos of the west of Ireland. The series includes interviews with various locals he met during his time here, as well as articles highlighting the huge diversity, culture, unique experiences and world-class cuisine of a holiday in the west of Ireland.
Footage captured by Richard Bangs includes his trip to Inis Mór where he interviewed local tour guide Michael Hernon, docent of Dún Aonghus Sheila Joyce, and Frances Beatty of An Púcán craft shop in Kilronan. Bangs describes the “stunning” scenery of the Burren, including Poulnabrone Dolmen, as well as his time in Gus O’Connor’s pub in Doolin and his visit to the Burren Smokehouse, where he met proprietor Peter Curtin. He took in the Flying Boat Museum in Foynes and interviewed Margaret O’Shaughnessy, who told him the story of Irish coffee; and in Co Mayo, he interviewed Lady Sheelyn Browne at Westport House, who told him the story of Gráinne Mhaol.
One of the largest news websites in the world, the Huffington Post has about 34 million readers every day. As well as featuring on the popular news site, the ‘Savage Craic of Western Ireland’ series will also be distributed across a variety of other online platforms in the US this spring, including various popular travel websites. It has been posted to Tourism Ireland’s Facebook page in the US, which has over 200,000 fans. Bangs is also undertaking interviews on various US radio programmes, describing for listeners his travels in the west of Ireland.
Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s executive vice president United States and Canada, said: “We were delighted to bring Richard Bangs to the west of Ireland. The exposure for the series he has produced through the Huffington Post alone, with more than 34 million visitors each day, is fantastic. It is an excellent way to reach a wide audience of potential holidaymakers right across the US, raising the profile of the west of Ireland and the huge variety of things to see and do, and encouraging more Americans to vacation in the west of Ireland in 2012.
“The United States is a tremendously important market for tourism to the island of Ireland, second only to Great Britain in terms of visitor numbers. And the good news is that Ireland ranks at number seven among in the list of aspirational holiday destinations that Americans would like to visit. The most recent CSO figures, for the period January-November 2011, show growth in visitor numbers from North America of +5.6% – an encouraging basis on which we plan to build in 2012.”
Richard Bangs has been nicknamed ‘the father of modern adventure travel’, having spent more than 30 years as an explorer and having published over 1,000 magazine articles, 19 books and numerous documentaries. Bangs was part of the founding executive team of Expedia.com, serving as its editor-at-large.
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.
• By the end of 2011, almost 7.4 million overseas visitors will have come to the island of Ireland (+7% 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 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.