A group of top lifestyle and garden journalists from Germany visited Co Wicklow last week, as part of a fact-finding trip to Ireland. The journalists were here as guests of Tourism Ireland, Aer Lingus and leading German tour operator TUI/Wolters Reisen.
Representing various publications with a combined readership of 900,000 people – or potential holidaymakers for Ireland – the journalists were here to experience at first-hand the fantastic gardens and tourism product on offer in this part of Ireland, for feature stories they are researching about holidays here.
As well as a tour of the gardens at Trudder Lodge in Newcastle, the journalists also paid a visit to Killruddery House and Gardens and to the gardens at Gorse Hill near Bray. Their itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland, also included a guided tour of Glendalough, some time at Knockanree Garden near Avoca and a visit to Brittas Bay beach. The group stayed at Brooklodge Hotel in Macreddin Village.
Zoe Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Central Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring this group of journalists to Co Wicklow and to Ireland. The group was hugely impressed by the spectacular gardens they visited, the wonderful scenery in this part of Ireland and the friendliness of the people. 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 gardens and tourism product on offer in this part of Ireland to hundreds of thousands 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.”
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.