Tourism Ireland invited 20 influential GB journalists to visit Ballygally and Northern Ireland last week. The aim of their visit – which was supported by the Coach Tourism Council (CTC) in GB – was to highlight coach touring holidays here among prospective travellers around Great Britain.
The group included writers from publications like My Weekly magazine, Scotland’s Daily Record newspaper, the Leicester Mercury and The People’s Friend magazine – whose readers enjoy coach tour holidays.
Their itinerary – designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board – included a tour of Titanic Belfast, the Causeway Coastal Route and some of the locations in the hit TV series Game of Thrones, as well as a stop for lunch at Ballygally Castle. The group continued along the coast to the Giant’s Causeway and Old Bushmills Distillery, finishing their visit in Derry~Londonderry where they enjoyed a walking tour of the walls and a visit to the Tower Museum.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted these influential journalists have taken the time to come to Northern Ireland to experience our coach tourism product. They have had the opportunity to see for themselves the high standards and some of the many things to see and do in Northern Ireland at first-hand – so they can write about the destination with greater authority on their return home.
“Coach and group tour business is an important element of the travel sector in Great Britain and we work closely with the Coach Tourism Council, to enthuse its members about Northern Ireland and all it has to offer GB visitors.
“Tourism Ireland is rolling out its autumn campaign right now in GB, targeting millions of potential holidaymakers for city breaks and rural holidays, highlighting what makes a holiday here unique and truly memorable. Our message is that there has never been a better time to visit, with great value and terrific things to see and do – and these journalists have now had the chance to experience this at first-hand.”
Journalists from GB at Ballygally Castle, Co Antrim, with Debbie Moran, Tourism Ireland (ninth right) and tour guide Ken McElroy (fifth right).
Further media information:
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 077 6652 7719
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 2012, 1.55 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of £418 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.