Northern Ireland has been awarded the “Foreign Destination of the Year 2009” by the prestigious Finnish Guild of Travel Journalists. The award ceremony took place yesterday in Helsinki, during Finland’s largest holiday fair, Matka.
Accepting the award, Steven Roberts, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for the Nordic Region, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Northern Ireland has been singled out by the Finnish Guild of Travel Journalists. We have been working hard to build awareness of Northern Ireland as a premier holiday destination among Finnish consumers. And of course, in a difficult and competitive year for tourism, anything that gives us stand-out from our competitors is very welcome.”
These travel awards by the Finnish Guild of Travel Journalists are presented on an annual basis and winners are voted for by the members of the Guild. The journalists paid special tribute to Belfast, saying the city “provides excellent holiday facilities”.
Significant groundwork has been undertaken in this market in recent years and Tourism Ireland has undertaken a number of promotional initiatives to build awareness of Northern Ireland in Finland. These include media familiarisation trips, so that the journalists can come and experience Northern Ireland for themselves at first hand.
Established in 1969, the Finnish Guild of Travel Journalists has approximately 120 members including writers, photographers and broadcasters, all specialising in travel.
Clair Balmer/Elaine Moore, Tourism Ireland tel: 028 7035 9260 / 07766 527719