The spotlight was on Londonderry in Amsterdam this week, when Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture sponsored Tourism Ireland’s annual ‘Ierland Press Awards’.
The event was organised by Tourism Ireland to commend Dutch travel and feature journalists for articles and broadcasts they have produced during 2012 about Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland; and to thank them for their efforts in helping Tourism Ireland to highlight the destination among Dutch consumers. The British ambassador to the Netherlands, Paul Arkwright, and the Irish Ambassador, Mary Whelan, were also in attendance. Prizes were awarded in four different categories including ‘blogger of the year’.
With 65 guests in attendance – including leading Dutch tour operators and travel agents, as well as members of the Dutch media – the event was a fantastic opportunity to highlight Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture. In 2013, Tourism Ireland will roll out a major programme of promotional activity to highlight the City of Culture celebrations in the Netherlands and elsewhere around the globe; the focus on Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture will allow Tourism Ireland to leverage the increased levels of awareness and interest generated overseas by ni2012 and will help put the city and its environs on the global tourism map in a completely new way.
Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s manager for the Netherlands, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to honour these journalists for their work during 2012, helping us in our efforts to raise awareness of Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland among potential Dutch holidaymakers. Our extensive publicity programme is a key element of our promotional programme each year, to raise the profile of the destination and grow visitor numbers.
“We have a busy programme of promotions planned for 2013; a major focus of our activity will be Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture celebrations, which will provide fresh and compelling reasons for Dutch people to visit. We will continue to highlight the distinctiveness of a holiday on in Northern Ireland, the great value available and the ease of access from the Netherlands. Our message for Dutch holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit.”