Travel writers from Australia, Canada, Germany and Belgium were in Fermanagh last week, to get a taste of what the top world leaders and their teams will experience when they are here later this month for the G8 Summit.
Invited here by Tourism Ireland, in association with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the group stayed at the Lough Erne Resort, where they met with the General Manager, Fergal Purcell, who gave them a ‘sneak preview’ of the busy preparations under way in advance of the G8 Summit. The visit is just one element of Tourism Ireland’s promotional drive in key overseas markets, including Great Britain, to capitalise on this historic visit by the G8 to Northern Ireland.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The G8 Summit is an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Fermanagh and Northern Ireland – not only to world leaders but also through the accompanying international media to potential visitors across the world. It will raise the profile of Northern Ireland and ultimately help us achieve our goals of increasing visitor numbers from overseas. Tourism Ireland’s promotional programme and publicity drive are being stepped up – before, during and after the G8.”
Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity to capitalise on the G8 Summit includes familiarisation visits to Fermanagh and Northern Ireland for leading travel and lifestyle media in advance of the summit; extensive social media activity and engagement with international media during the G8; and “follow in the footsteps” familiarisation visits for influential media and travel trade contacts who specialise in business tourism and golf, following the G8.
During their time in Fermanagh, the travel writers also enjoyed a cruise on Lough Erne, a cookery lesson at Belle Isle Cookery School, as well as a visit to the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark and a drive through the scenic Lough Navar Forest. Some of the group also took time out to enjoy a round of golf on the Nick Faldo designed course at the Lough Erne Resort.
Claire Keenan, Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s media visits officer, said: “Visits such as these are extremely important, as they not only help build awareness of the destination for the G8 Summit 2013, but also showcase the wonderful tourism product of Fermanagh and Northern Ireland. The aim is that when these journalists return home they will be well equipped to put into words what the G8 Summit leaders will experience, thereby encouraging more visitors to visit Fermanagh and Northern Ireland to come and see it for themselves.”