A group of leading French travel writers visited West Cork last week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Brittany Ferries. Representing a wide range of travel and lifestyle publications (both traditional and online), the group sailed to Cork from Roscoff to experience at first-hand some of the many things to see and do in this part of Ireland for French holidaymakers.
The journalists kicked off their visit with a stop at the Mizen Head Visitor Centre. Then it was on to Schull, where they dined at Grove House. During their time here, they also enjoyed a guided tour of Bantry House, visited Castletownbere, took the cable car to Dursey Island and the ferry to Garnish Island. The group also visited Kenmare and Sneem in Co Kerry.
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 over 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.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to welcome this group of French travel writers to West Cork and to Ireland. Fact-finding visits like this are very important, in terms of showcasing West Cork, as well as the ease of access from Brittany to this part of Ireland, through the media in France. It is now easier than ever to get to the island of Ireland from all regions of France and Tourism Ireland, together with our industry partners, is pulling out all the stops to convey the message that there has never been a better time to visit.”
France is an important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and the most recent figures from the CSO (for the period February to April) show a strong start to 2013, with visitor numbers up +20%, compared to the same period in 2012. With the extensive programme of festivals and events taking place across the island this year, as part of The Gathering and Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture, Tourism Ireland’s message is that there has never been a better time to visit.