Tourism Minister Arlene Foster MLA was on hand at Royal Portrush last week to welcome a group of international journalists who were attending the Irish Open as part of a fact-finding trip to Northern Ireland. The group, invited here by Tourism Ireland, included lifestyle and sporting journalists from the US, Spain, Germany, Italy and Norway.
As well as attending the Irish Open, the group spent time walking along the historic walls of Derry before enjoying the homecoming celebrations on the banks of the River Foyle to mark the arrival of the Clipper fleet. They also stopped off in Belfast where they enjoyed a guided tour of the city, taking in Belfast City Hall, and paid a visit to the city’s newest attraction, Titanic Belfast. The itinerary was designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “The Irish Open at Royal Portrush presented a wonderful opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland on the global stage. As well as the worldwide TV coverage of the tournament itself, the articles and broadcasts these journalists will produce about Northern Ireland when they return home will reach hundreds of thousands of potential holidaymakers around the world.
“We are delighted these journalists got to come here to enjoy the Irish Open, as well as to experience our spectacular scenery, rich history and attractions. Visits such as this are extremely important, helping to build awareness of what’s on offer in Northern Ireland for potential holidaymakers. Tourism Ireland has an extremely busy programme of promotions under way across the world this year, highlighting all that is happening in Northern Ireland during 2012 and beyond. These journalists have had the opportunity to see some of that at first-hand, helping to reinforce our message that there has never been a better time to visit Northern Ireland.”
Northern Ireland Tourism Minister Arlene Foster MLA welcomed international media to the Irish Open. Pictured are Leonor Badia (Spain); David Boyce, Tourism Ireland; Alexander Duethorn (Germany); Minister Arlene Foster; Alberto Carpinetti (Italy); Arne Johan Vigstad (Norway); Denis Silvers (US); and Javier Oliver (Spain).
Further media 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.