A group of influential journalists from Germany visited Co Offaly and enjoyed a cruise along the River Shannon last week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Aer Lingus.
Representing various print and online publications, radio and TV stations with a combined audience of over four million potential holidaymakers, the journalists were here to experience at first-hand some of the many things to see and do here as well as the relaxed and enjoyable pace of a cruising holiday, for feature stories they are researching about holidays here. They set off on their cruise with Silverline Cruisers from Banagher. During their time on the Shannon, the journalists enjoyed a spot of fishing, stopped off for a guided tour of Clonmacnoise, paid a visit to the Old Fort in Shannonbridge and dropped into the Village Tavern for some rum and chocolate. They enjoyed a guided cycle and walking tour of the outdoor sculpture park at Lough Boora Parklands, visited Birr Castle Demesne for a tour of the Science Centre and enjoyed dinner at The Thatch in Crinkill.
Zoe Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Central Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring this group of journalists to Co Offaly and Ireland’s Lakelands region. Fact-finding visits like this are very important; they are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure for Ireland through the media in Germany, helping us to showcase the superb tourism product on offer in this part of Ireland to millions of potential German holidaymakers.
“Germany is a priority market for Tourism Ireland. Over half the German population takes at least one holiday abroad each year, making Germany the world’s largest outbound travel market. Germany is the third-largest source of visitors to the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland has an exceptionally strong promotional programme under way in Germany this year, to showcase the distinctiveness of a holiday here. Those Germans interested in taking a holiday involving sightseeing and local culture are our core target; Tourism Ireland is also targeting consumers who engage in outdoor activities while on holidays.”
The German market performed well for tourism to the island of Ireland in 2011, delivering about 421,000 visitors, an increase of +11% on 2010.