12th August 2009: Belfast friends Ciara Hickey and Ricky O’Rawe are doing their bit for tourism this year by presenting a short film on the ‘hidden gems’ of Belfast on Tourism Ireland’s website. It is one of a series of ten short films or ‘webisodes’ which have already been viewed by almost 400,000 potential visitors around the world.
Tourism Ireland recently launched the series of films which feature real local characters from around the island of Ireland introducing their favourite ‘hidden gems’. Ciara and Ricky were selected from the 1,000+ people across the island who applied to take part, to tell viewers and potential holidaymakers around the world about some of their favourite places in their home city.
In the film, Ciara and Ricky take the viewer on a journey around Belfast, highlighting its vibrancy and the tremendous variety of things to see and do in the city. They begin in one of Ciara’s favourite places, St George’s Market, where they sample some of the delicious produce on offer. Then, it is on to Bookfinders café near Queens. They admire the architecture of Victoria Square and from the top of the centre, Ricky and Ciara point out some of the city’s famous landmarks, including the Albert Clock. They take in Belfast by night and go to a gig in Spring & Airbrake on Ormeau Avenue. They finish their journey at Helen’s Bay, walking along the beach and enjoying the peace and tranquillity as the day comes to an end.
"Visitors repeatedly tell us that what distinguishes Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland from other destinations - what sets us apart from our competitors - is our people and our scenery”, said Brian Twomey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Marketing Communications. “This online movie, presented by Ciara and Ricky, provides an added dimension of information on the many attractions on offer in Belfast, in a novel and entertaining way.”
"Customers are not just searching for the lowest fare any more; they are seeking information and recommendations on the perfect holiday experience - where to go, what to see and do and where to eat. These movies complement our new global advertising campaign 'Go Where Ireland Takes You'. The campaign has been designed to capture the spontaneity and fun of holidaying here and to show that some of the most wonderful and memorable experiences you are likely to have here will be stumbled on by chance", Twomey added.
The ten films or ‘webisodes’, which have been translated into five European languages, feature on Tourism Ireland’s suite of 41 websites and are also being promoted in its main overseas markets on Yahoo. The films will also feature on a new promotional DVD, which will be distributed to potential holidaymakers in the all-important GB market during August. To see the films, visit www.discoverireland.com/go
Ciara and Ricky at Bittles Bar in Belfast
Clair Balmer, Tourism Ireland Tel: 028 7035 9260 Mobile: 077 6652 7719