As Co Fermanagh prepares to welcome the world’s leaders to next week’s G8 summit at Lough Erne, Tourism Ireland is working hard to capitalise on this unprecedented opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland to potential holidaymakers around the world and to convince them to visit in 2013 and beyond.
With hundreds of international media set to descend on Fermanagh next week to cover the summit, Tourism Ireland has put in place a promotional programme to maximise the tourism potential of the two-day event. The organisation is undertaking a targeted PR campaign, generating positive publicity in Great Britain, our largest tourism market, as well as in other key markets overseas. Activity involves familiarisation visits for leading travel and lifestyle media in advance of the summit; extensive social media activity and engagement with international media during the G8; and “follow in the footsteps” familiarisation visits for media and travel trade contacts specialising in business tourism and golf following the G8.
Commenting on the tourism potential of the G8, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland said: “Hosting the G8 Summit offers an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Fermanagh and Northern Ireland, as well as to promote Northern Ireland as a top destination for hosting high level events and conferences. The international media profile accompanying the G8 is enormous and the ensuing publicity will raise the profile of Northern Ireland to help us achieve our goal of boosting visitor numbers. Tourism Ireland is focused on exploiting the tourism potential offered by the G8 to the fullest extent possible.”
Specific activity being undertaken by Tourism Ireland includes the following:
Key travel and lifestyle media contacts have been invited by Tourism Ireland to come and visit Fermanagh and Northern Ireland, before and after the G8; a series of itineraries has been developed which will reflect the summit, as well as themes such as Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013, popular attractions including Titanic Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway, and all that Northern Ireland has to offer holidaymakers from overseas.
Tourism Ireland has already flown in a group of leading GB media, including journalists from major titles like the Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday, to sample the G8 experience in advance of the summit and to write about it on their return home. Tourism Ireland also arranged for a crew from BBC Breakfast to visit Fermanagh recently, to film a feature on the venue of the G8 Summit; the piece, fronted by Northern Ireland-born journalist Chris Buckler, will be seen by about 1.5 million viewers – or potential holidaymakers – around Great Britain, when it airs this week. And a group of GB, German, Canadian, Belgian and Australian journalists also visited Fermanagh and the G8 Summit venue recently.
In May, Tourism Ireland also invited a high profile group of MICE (meeting, incentives, conferences and events) agents from GB to visit Fermanagh. These agents specialise in sourcing unique destinations and properties suitable for events, conferences, incentives and group travel.
Tourism Ireland’s plans to follow up on the G8 include familiarisation visits to Fermanagh and Northern Ireland for specialist golfing media and business tourism decision-makers.
Fermanagh’s role as the location for the G8 Summit has been promoted widely at top Tourism Ireland promotions across the world since the announcement was made, including at the World Travel Market in London and ITB in Berlin, as well as at a host of top trade and consumer fairs and on trade missions to Mainland Europe, the US, the UAE and Brazil.
Tourism Ireland is also promoting the destination in the context of the G8 through e-newsletters to its databases of key consumer, trade and business tourism contacts in top markets including GB, the US, Germany, France and other European markets, and in Australia.
Research conducted by the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto concludes that the economic benefits of hosting the G8 are much greater for smaller communities and cities than capital cities which have played host to the event in the past. The economic benefit of a recent G8 summit in Huntsville, Ontario is estimated to have been in the region of £187 million.
For further information, visit http://www.g8.utoronto.ca/
Further media information:
Clair Balmer/Elaine Moore, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 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, delivering revenue of £368 million.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is ireland.com, which is rolling out in 11 different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.