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01 Dec 2014

Popular American radio show says hi from Northern Ireland

Travel show broadcasts live from Northern Ireland to 700,000 people on 170 local radio stations across the United States

One of America’s most respected travel gurus, Rudy Maxa, broadcast his prime-time radio show, Rudy Maxa’s World, live across the United States on Saturday (29 November) from the Guildhall in Londonderry. Over 700,000 listeners tuned in, on 170 local radio stations in the US, and heard all about Northern Ireland. An additional programme was recorded at the Lough Erne Resort in Enniskillen, which will air later this month.

Tourism Ireland arranged for Rudy Maxa and his co-presenter Bob Carey to travel to Northern Ireland to record both programmes. In the Guildhall, Rudy Maxa interviewed some local people working in tourism – including Odhran Dunne of Visit Derry, Martin McCrossan of Derry City Tours and Michelle Murray from the city’s Martime Museum. Prior to the broadcast, Rudy enjoyed a guided walk along the city’s historic walls and had the opportunity to see some of the main tourist sites, including St Columb’s Cathedral. During his stay at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel, Rudy also heard about how the Beech Hill House was used as a base for the US marines during the Second World War.     

At the Lough Erne Resort in Fermanagh, co-presenter Bob Carey chatted with the hotel’s general manager Andrew Phelan. He learned about the wonderful food on offer in this part of Northern Ireland from Noel McMeel, executive chef at the Lough Erne Resort, and from award-winning, local butcher Pat O’Doherty. Bob also had the opportunity to visit the town of Enniskillen and Belleek Pottery, where he interviewed Patricia McCauley, the visitor centre manager.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “We are delighted that Rudy Maxa has chosen to visit and broadcast from Londonderry and Fermanagh. With about 700,000 listeners, his radio show is a fantastic way to highlight Northern Ireland and to encourage more Americans to vacation here. The United States is one of the most important markets for tourism to Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland has been working hard throughout 2014, to keep Northern Ireland ‘top of mind’ for Americans.”

2014 looks set to be another good year for tourism from North America. According to the latest NISRA figures, visitor numbers from the US and Canada grew by +29% for the first half of 2014, compared with the same six-month period in 2013.

  Rudy Maxa (centre) in Londonderry, with the guests he interviewed for his popular radio show, including Garvin Kerr, Derry City Tours; Deputy Mayor Alderman Gary Middleton; Odhran Dunne, Visit Derry; and Michelle Murray, Guildhall and Tower Museum.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 40,000 jobs.
  • In 2013, an estimated 1.7 million overseas visitors visited Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately £474 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is ireland.com, which is available in ten different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.