Leading international journalists - from England, Scandinavia, France, Germany and Belgium - arrived in the North West at the weekend, to get a “sneak preview” of the opening round of the 2009 World Rally Championship (WRC), which takes place here at the end of this month. The visit of these journalists will help to generate tremendous international publicity, both for Rally Ireland and the North West.
Organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Rally Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the group got the opportunity to enjoy a thrilling co-drive with Shaun Gallagher, of World Rally Team Ireland. Westlife’s Shane Filan was also on hand to welcome the group to the North West. The journalists met with John Naylor, the Event Director for Rally Ireland, and enjoyed a spectacular helicopter trip over the Donegal coastline and the initial stages of the World Rally Championship.
While in the North West, the group also took some time out to enjoy some local tourist attractions – including a scenic drive to Rosses Point via Benbulben and the Mullaghmore Peninsula, a visit to the Marble Arch Caves near Enniskillen and a boat trip on Lough Gill.
Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Brand Development & Markets, said:
“Tourism Ireland has undertaken an extensive programme of promotional initiatives in our main overseas markets, to fully capitalise on this high profile sporting event.
“Rally Ireland presents a rare opportunity to reach a huge global audience – the last time this event took place here in 2007, it reached a global audience of almost 90 million. Tourism Ireland will produce a series of video news releases for distribution to sports news desks in approximately 100 countries; promotional footage will also be made available to all the broadcast media who attend this event.”
Media visits such as these are hugely important to help spread the good news about the North West, and the island of Ireland in general, to potential holidaymakers overseas. This visit will result in extensive and positive publicity for the North West and Rally Ireland on TV and across a range of different publications around the world.
Rally Ireland kicks off in Enniskillen on 29th January; this is the first time in 30 years that the launch of the WRC has taken place outside Monte Carlo. The event, which will take in seven counties, North and South, runs until 1st February.
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027