More than 700,000 German garden enthusiasts – or potential holidaymakers for Northern Ireland – will be reading all about our spectacular gardens very soon. Tourism Ireland invited a group of top German journalists – from various regional, weekend and online newspapers and magazines – to visit some of Northern Ireland’s best-known gardens this week.
The writers, whose itinerary was prepared by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, followed the Antrim Gardens Trail, starting off in the Botanic Gardens in Belfast, before heading to Ballyclare, where they met the former Director of Parks for Belfast City Council, Maurice Parkinson, who showed them around his gardens and nursery at Ballyrobert.
They continued to Antrim Castle Gardens, before making their way along the Causeway Coastal Route, stopping off at Benvarden, near Ballymoney, and at Glenarm Castle Walled Garden. Their final day saw the German group take a tour of the organic Kilcoan Garden at Larne, before exploring the beauty of the Mourne Mountains by bicycle along the Mourne Cycle Trail.
Zoë Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Central Europe said, “Northern Ireland is known for its natural, unspoilt landscape and world-class gardens, so Tourism Ireland invited these influential journalists to come and find out how our indigenous plants and horticultural skills have resulted in a countryside dotted with beautiful, well-kept gardens which delight our overseas visitors.
“Publicity is an important element of our overall promotional programme, helping to raise awareness through the media in Germany of the many things to see and do on a holiday here. The articles these journalists will write will showcase the superb gardens and scenery of Northern Ireland to hundreds of thousands of potential German holidaymakers, inspiring them to come and discover the destination for themselves.”
Tourism Ireland has a busy promotional programme under way in Germany throughout 2014. The organisation is highlighting compelling reasons to visit Northern Ireland, including messages of friendliness, spectacular scenery and the great variety of things to do and see.
German journalists in Ballyrobert Cottage Garden, Ballyclare, Co Antrim, with Judith von Rauchhaupt, Tourism Ireland (third left); Claire Keenan, NITB (centre); and Maurice Parkinson, Ballyrobert Cottage Garden (second right).
Further media information:
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer, 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 2013, an estimated 1.789 million overseas visitors visited Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately £438 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.