Tourism Minister Arlene Foster MLA was on hand at Royal Portrush last week to welcome a group of international journalists who were attending the Irish Open as part of a fact-finding trip to Northern Ireland. The group, invited here by Tourism Ireland, included lifestyle and sporting journalists from the US, Spain, Germany, Italy and Norway.
As well as attending the Irish Open, the group spent time walking along the historic walls of Derry before enjoying the homecoming celebrations on the banks of the River Foyle to mark the arrival of the Clipper fleet. They also stopped off in Belfast where they enjoyed a guided tour of the city, taking in Belfast City Hall, and paid a visit to the city’s newest attraction, Titanic Belfast. The itinerary was designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The Irish Open at Royal Portrush presented a wonderful opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland on the global stage. As well as the worldwide TV coverage of the tournament itself, the articles and broadcasts these journalists will produce about Northern Ireland when they return home will reach hundreds of thousands of potential holidaymakers around the world.
“We are delighted these journalists got to come here to enjoy the Irish Open, as well as to experience our spectacular scenery, rich history and attractions. Visits such as this are extremely important, helping to build awareness of what’s on offer in Northern Ireland for potential holidaymakers. Tourism Ireland has an extremely busy programme of promotions under way across the world this year, highlighting all that is happening in Northern Ireland during 2012 and beyond. These journalists have had the opportunity to see some of that at first-hand, helping to reinforce our message that there has never been a better time to visit Northern Ireland.”