A group of top journalists from the Middle East visited Co Kildare recently, as part of a fact-finding trip to Ireland. Invited here by Tourism Ireland, the journalists flew from Abu Dhabi to Dublin courtesy of Etihad Airways.
The influential group included a crew from the CNBC Arabia TV station (the larget Arabic business TV channel in the Gulf region), the editor of Travel Trendz magazine and a journalist from Al Qabas (daily newspaper in Kuwait). With a combined audience of over 400,000 people – or potential holidaymakers – in the Middle East, this visit was a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of what this part of Ireland has to offer. It was also a valuable opportunity to highlight the excellent connectivity between the Middle East and Ireland. The group’s itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland, included a spot of retail therapy in Kildare Village, with lunch at L’Officina. They also visited The Curragh racecourse.
Commenting on the visit of the TV crew and journalists, Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Asia, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring this influential media group to Kildare and to Ireland. Fact-finding visits like this are very important; they are a cost-effective way for us to get positive exposure for the island of Ireland through the media in the Middle East, helping us to showcase what we have to offer to a wide audience of potential holidaymakers.
“Tourism Ireland is very active right now in markets like the Gulf States, working to raise the profile of the island of Ireland as a premier holiday destination. We are highlighting the visa waiver scheme introduced by the Government last year, which encourages visitors from emerging tourism markets to visit Ireland if they are visiting the UK, without the hassle of applying for a separate visa. We are also working closely with partners like Etihad Airways and Dublin Airport to highlight ease of access to Ireland and the great value fares now available.”
Journalists from the Middle East at The Curragh Racecourse, Co Kildare.
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.