Millions of potential holidaymakers all over the US are reading about Belfast and Northern Ireland this month, on the travel pages of the hugely popular Huffington Post news website, which attracts an average audience of 34 million readers each day.
Richard Bangs – an Emmy award-winning videographer and travel correspondent for the Huffington Post – visited Northern Ireland around the opening of Titanic Belfast, as a guest of Tourism Ireland. The resulting series of features, entitled ‘Northern Ireland: Terra Titanicus’ has now been posted to the Huffington Post site and includes video footage and photos of Belfast and all things Titanic. The five-part series includes interviews with locals he met during his time here, as well as articles explaining the maritime heritage of Belfast, along with the music, unique experiences and world-class scenery of a holiday in Northern Ireland.
Footage captured by Richard Bangs in the first of his series includes his trip to Titanic’s Dry Dock where he interviewed local tour guide Colin Cobb, who specialises in walking tours around the Titanic Quarter. Subsequent editions will show his impressions of iconic visits such as the Causeway Coastal Route; Carrick-a-rede rope bridge; the Giant’s Causeway and the Walled City of Derry. Bangs also spent time in Armagh, where he visited the two cathedrals and the public library before moving on to St Patrick’s grave in Downpatrick.
One of the largest news websites in the world, the Huffington Post has about 34 million readers every day. As well as featuring on the popular news site, the ‘Northern Ireland’ series will also be distributed across a variety of other online platforms. The series has been posted to Tourism Ireland’s Facebook page in the US, which has over 225,000 fans.
Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s executive vice president United States and Canada, said: “We were delighted to bring Richard Bangs to Northern Ireland – particularly around the time of the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s maiden voyage and the opening of Titanic Belfast. The exposure for the series he has produced through the Huffington Post alone, with more than 34 million visitors each day, is fantastic. It is an excellent way to reach a wide audience of potential holidaymakers right across the US, raising the profile of Northern Ireland and the huge variety of things to see and do, and encouraging more Americans to holiday here in the near future.
“The United States is a tremendously important market for tourism to Northern Ireland, second only to Great Britain in terms of visitor numbers. And the good news is that the island of Ireland ranks at number seven among in the list of aspirational holiday destinations that Americans would like to visit. Last year we welcomed 149,000 North Americans to Northern Ireland, a small increase on the previous year but an encouraging basis on which we plan to build in 2012.”
Richard Bangs has been nicknamed ‘the father of modern adventure travel’, having spent more than 30 years as an explorer and having published over 1,000 magazine articles, 19 books and numerous documentaries. Bangs was part of the founding executive team of Expedia.com, serving as its editor-at-large.