A group of top travel and lifestyle journalists from France enjoyed a fact-finding visit to Co Louth over the weekend, as guests of Tourism Ireland. The combined audience of these journalists (including readers and listeners) for the articles and broadcasts they will produce when they return home is almost 7 million people – or potential holidaymakers – around France.
Representing a radio station, as well as online and print publications, the journalists were here to experience at first-hand some of the many things to see and do in this part of Ireland for French holidaymakers, for features they are researching about short breaks and holidays here. Their visit was also a fantastic opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight the many festivals and events taking place here this year as part of The Gathering Ireland 2013.
The journalists’ itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland, included a cookery lesson at Ghan House, a trip around Carlingford Lough by speedboat and a spot of lunch PJ O’Hare’s. The group enjoyed a guided tour around Omeath with local ‘Leprechaun Whisperer’ Kevin Woods, stopping to visit the megalithic tombs at Clonshagora, the Long Woman’s Grave and the Proposal Stones of Carlingford and Mourne. They also took part in in the annual Carlingford National Leprechaun Hunt on Slieve Foy. The group enjoyed dinner at Magees Seafood Bistro in Carlingford and stayed at Ghan House.
Tourism Ireland undertakes a busy publicity programme around the world each year to raise the profile of the destination – and media visits to Ireland are a key element of that programme. In 2012, there were over 1,400 media visits to the island of Ireland, which helped to generate articles and broadcasts around the globe worth about €50 million in equivalent advertising value.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring these journalists to Co Louth and Ireland. For many of the group, it was their first visit and they were extremely impressed by the spectacular scenery, the range of things to see and do, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met. 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, helping us to showcase the superb tourism product on offer to millions of potential holidaymakers in France.
“The visit of these journalists was also a wonderful opportunity to highlight the many festivals and events taking place during this special year of The Gathering. Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions in France, and elsewhere around the world, to highlight The Gathering Ireland. We are extending an invitation to the tens of millions of people across the world who have ancestral links with Ireland to ‘come home’ this year, as well as to the many others who feel connected by friendship, business or education and to those who simply hold an affection for what Ireland has given to the world.”
French journalists outside PJ O’Hare’s on Tholsel Street in Carlingford, with Anne Zemmour, Tourism Ireland (second right) and tour guide Mick Langan (third right).
Further media information:
Jasmine O’Brien, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01-476 3425
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 2012, an estimated 7.27 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.51 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, consisting of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country; Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.