A group of top travel and lifestyle journalists from France enjoyed a fact-finding visit to Northern Ireland, as guests of Tourism Ireland. The combined audience of these journalists, including print and online readers, for the articles they will produce when they return home is almost 490,000 people – or potential holidaymakers – around France.
Representing various online and print publications, the journalists were here to experience at first-hand some of the many things to see and do in Northern Ireland for French holidaymakers. Their visit was a fantastic opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight what’s new in Northern Ireland, as well as the rich and varied history which visitors can experience on holiday here.
The journalists’ itinerary, designed by NITB, included visits to Titanic Belfast, Queen’s University, the Ulster Museum and Crumlin Road Gaol. They headed along the Causeway Coastal Route, stopping off at Carrickfergus Castle, the walled gardens at Glenarm and Cushendun, before boarding a boat in Ballycastle to take in the some of the spectacular Antrim coastline by sea. They also spent time at the Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle and took photos at the Dark Hedges near Ballymoney.
Tourism Ireland undertakes a busy publicity programme around the world each year to raise the profile of the destination – and media visits to Northern Ireland are a key element of that programme. Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring these journalists to Belfast and along the Causeway Coastal Route. It was a first-time visit for everyone in the group and they were extremely impressed by the spectacular scenery, the range of things to see and do, 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 Northern Ireland through the influential French media, helping us to showcase the superb tourism product on offer to hundreds of thousands of potential holidaymakers.”