Travel writers and broadcasters from six countries – including Great Britain, the United States, Germany, France, India and the Netherlands – arrived in Derry~Londonderry at the weekend to attend the spectacular Fleadh Cheoil.
The journalists – invited here by Tourism Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board – joined the hundreds of thousands of spectators who thronged the city to enjoy the festival. During their visit, the group got to experience many of the musical events of the Fleadh, including the dramatic closing ceremony at Ebrington Barracks. They also visited the Ulster American Folk Park, enjoyed a walking tour of the city walls and watched Séamus Heaney’s ‘The Poet and the Piper’ at the Millennium Forum.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to welcome this group of journalists to Londonderry and Northern Ireland. The Fleadh Cheoil was another wonderful platform to showcase the UK City of Culture – it will be highlighted to millions of potential visitors across the world, through the articles and broadcasts these journalists will produce when they return home.
“Media visits like this are an important element of our busy publicity programme, helping to raise the profile of Northern Ireland and ultimately helping us achieve our goal of increasing visitor numbers from overseas. The City of Culture is a major part of Tourism Ireland’s promotions and publicity drive around the world in 2013 and we look forward to highlighting lots of other major events still to come this year, including the Walled City Tattoo and the Turner Prize.”
Alan Clarke, CEO of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, said: “As Derry~Londonderry continues to embrace the mantle of the UK City of Culture 2013, I was delighted to welcome the Fleadh Cheoil to Northern Ireland for the first time ever. It presented a great opportunity to cement the city’s reputation as a creative and innovative place to visit and a platform to showcase to the world its wonderful people, arts and cultural scene.”