Nine leading journalists from France are visiting Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Brittany Ferries. The group is made up of writers from various travel and lifestyle magazines and websites, as well as regional newspapers in France, with a combined audience of over two million readers – or potential French holidaymakers for Cork and Ireland. They are here to experience some of what Ireland has to offer, including our newest visitor experience, the Wild Atlantic Way – and to then inspire their readers to come and discover it for themselves.
As well as visiting counties Cork and Limerick, the group took a panoramic flight over the Aran Islands and along the Clare coastline to view the famous Cliffs of Moher. Their itinerary also included a boat trip from Roundstone Harbour in Connemara, to watch a local fisherman haul lobster pots; followed by a visit to Inishlacken Island, where they sampled some of the lobster and enjoy a picnic.
Tourism Ireland recently unveiled a new strategy to grow visitor numbers from France and Germany over the coming three years. The plan, ‘Germany and France – A Strategy for Growth’, sets out challenging and ambitious targets, which will see the number of French visitors to the island of Ireland grow to 512,000 (+17%) by 2016.
Finola O’Mahony, Tourism Ireland’s head of Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of influential journalists to the West of Ireland. Seeing is believing – so fact-finding visits like this are an extremely important element of our publicity and PR programme in France; they are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure for Ireland through the media, helping us to showcase the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way to millions of potential French holidaymakers. 2013 was a record year for French visitors to Ireland and we are undertaking an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2014, to keep the momentum going and build on that growth. I am confident that our new focused strategy will deliver on the targets we have set for growth in French visitors, between now and 2016.”
French journalists on the beach in Spiddal, with Anne Zemmour, Tourism Ireland (front, right), Danielle Ollivier (front, second right) and Jean-Claude Georget (back, right), both Brittany Ferries.
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 2013, we welcomed an estimated 8 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.64 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.