Tourism Ireland in The Netherlands is sponsoring a new reality TV series on Ireland called The Irish Matchmaker. Eight episodes, all filmed here, will air later this year and last week, the programme-makers were in Doolin in Co Clare to record the “grand finale”.
Willie Daly, one of the last true Irish “matchmakers”, used his knowledge and experience of matters of the heart to match three Dutch single women with three Irish bachelors. After seven episodes and many dates spent exploring the South-West and West of Ireland, in places like Kinsale, Killarney, Westport and Galway, the series concluded on Saturday near Doolin, where Dutch singleton Muriel Poll selected her “dream” Irish date, Des Bolger from Clonmel in Co Tipperary.
Tourism Ireland, together with Fáilte Ireland, designed the itinerary for the filming of the series, ensuring that each programme was shot in a scenic and beautiful location.
John Walsh, Tourism Ireland, said: “This is a fun and different way to showcase Ireland, its beautiful landscape and many attractions to a wide audience in The Netherlands. This is a very important market for tourism to the island of Ireland. Last year we welcomed approximately 169,000 Dutch visitors to Ireland. Given that The Irish Matchmaker will be broadcast on primetime TV, Tourism Ireland is hopeful that this series, and the many other promotional initiatives we have in place this year, will entice even more Dutch visitors to come and holiday in Ireland.”
This sponsorship of The Irish Matchmaker is just one of a series of new and innovative marketing initiatives being rolled out by Tourism Ireland in The Netherlands during 2008. It is a pilot project for the year, with a move away from more “traditional” marketing activity and particular emphasis on new media channels such as SMS, YouTube and online games.
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland, tel: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Norman Pratt, Weber Shandwick, tel: 01 676 0168/ 086 151 8921