Six leading journalists from France enjoyed a gastronomy-themed visit to Ireland over the weekend, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.
Representing various French online, regional, travel and lifestyle publications with a combined circulation of about 250,000 readers – or potential holidaymakers for Ireland – the journalists were here to experience the renowned Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival at first-hand, the quality and high standard of food in this part of Ireland, as well as our world-famous hospitality, for feature stories they are planning to write about short breaks and ‘foodie’ holidays in Ireland.
The group’s action-packed visit began with a stop at the Kilbeggan Distillery in Co Westmeath. Then it was on to Connemara, with a guided tour of Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden, followed by dinner in Mitchell’s Seafood restaurant in Clifden. They sailed from Cleggan to Inishbofin, where they enjoyed a walking tour and attended a céilí in the Inishbofin House hotel, which was part of the Inishbofin Set Dancing and Trad weekend.
The journalists then returned to Galway city on Saturday (28 September) – to take part in this year’s Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival. In the festival marquee, they got the chance to sample premium native oysters from six local restaurants and to witness the World Oyster Opening Championship in action. Later that evening, they took part in the Oyster Masquerade, which kicked off in the Galway City Museum. Yesterday (Sunday 29 September), the group enjoyed a fabulous flight over the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher.
Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s manager of southern Europe, said: “Food is an integral part of any short break or holiday and we know that our French visitors enjoy authentic, locally produced food. These journalists were delighted to have the opportunity to come and sample our food – and in particular the world-famous Galway Oyster Festival – at first hand. Fact-finding visits for journalists are extremely important to help raise awareness in France of our festivals and events, as well as the superb food and tourism product available in Ireland. The publicity value of the articles these journalists will write is fantastic – they will be read by about 250,000 potential holidaymakers – encouraging readers and ‘foodies’ to come and sample the destination for themselves.”
France is one of Ireland’s top four markets for overseas tourism and Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotions under way this autumn, targeting late season French travellers.
Anne Zemmour, Tourism Ireland (centre), with French journalists Gregory Gerault, Marie Dias Alves, Jean-Paul Calvet, Vanessa Lambert, Stephane Mereo and Ludovic Behrle.
Further media information:
Brian Swift, 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.