More than five million people around France are set to read or hear all about the West of Ireland, following the visit of 37 French journalists, invited here by Tourism Ireland in Paris in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland.
Representing a TV station, a radio station and various print and online publications, with a combined reach of over five million people – or potential holidaymakers – around France, the aim of the visit was to highlight some of the many things to see and do in this part of Ireland for French holidaymakers and to showcase our unique culture through the influential media who visited.
As well as a stop at the Cliffs of Moher, the journalists enjoyed a walking tour of the Burren with local tour guide Michael Killeen, followed by dinner and an evening learning traditional Irish step-dancing at Tubridy’s in Cooraclare. Their action-packed itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland, also included a spot of fishing in Inchiquin Lake and a cruise from Doolin to Inis Mór, where they visited Dún Aengus and the Seven Churches and enjoyed a spot of lunch at Tí Joe Watty’s. During their time here, the group also took in a special performance of the Irish Celtic Show, a traditional Irish dance and music production which will tour France later this year.
Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring these journalists to the West of Ireland. For many of the group, it was their first visit and they were extremely impressed by the spectacular scenery, the rich culture of traditional music, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met. 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 France. The publicity value of the articles and broadcasts these journalists will produce when they return home is fantastic – they will reach over five million potential holidaymakers around France.
“The visit of these journalists was also a wonderful opportunity to highlight the many festivals and events taking place during this special year of The Gathering. Although the major focus of Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity to highlight The Gathering this year is in countries with a strong Diaspora connection – like Britain, the US, Canada and Australia – Tourism Ireland is also working hard in markets like France to highlight Ireland and The Gathering. We are extending an invitation to the tens of millions of people across the world who have ancestral links with Ireland to ‘come home’ this year, as well as to the many others who feel connected by friendship, business or education, or who simply hold an affection for what Ireland has given to the world.”
Tourism Ireland undertakes a busy publicity programme around the world each year to raise the profile of the destination – and media visits to Ireland are a key element of that programme. In 2012, there were more than 1,400 media visits to the island of Ireland, which helped to generate articles and broadcasts around the globe worth about €50 million in equivalent advertising value.