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24 Feb 2014

Influential GB journalists join rally champion Paddy Hopkirk for 50th anniversary celebrations

Targeting motorsports enthusiasts across GB

Twelve top GB journalists – representing a range of motor, sports and lifestyle publications – were invited to Northern Ireland by Tourism Ireland over the weekend, to join the 50th anniversary celebrations of Paddy Hopkirk’s victory in the Monte Carlo Rally.
The highlight of the journalists’ time here was the chance to meet the rally legend himself at City Hall, when Paddy Hopkirk led a cavalcade of minis through the city, as well as attending the Paddy Hopkirk gala dinner at Titanic Belfast.

The journalists’ itinerary, created by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, also included a meeting with Belfast’s Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir and a guided tour of the city. The group took a special drive – in historic minis – along the Causeway Coastal Route, with a stop at Glenarm Castle, where they had a tutorial on pace notes (the code used by rally drivers), followed by a drive over Torr Head, to practise what they had learned, and finally, a photo at the spectacular Dunluce Castle.

David Boyce, Tourism Ireland’s deputy head of Great Britain, said: “We are delighted these journalists have spent time here experiencing this special event, as well as seeing our spectacular scenery and tapping into the fun of holidaying here. Visits such as this, by influential media, are extremely important – providing Tourism Ireland with a wonderful opportunity to showcase Belfast and Northern Ireland in GB and elsewhere in the international marketplace. The articles the journalists will write about their experience here will be read by thousands of motorsports enthusiasts and potential holidaymakers – encouraging them to come and check out Northern Ireland for themselves.”

Tourism Ireland has a busy promotional programme under way in GB this spring, to highlight Northern Ireland to prospective holidaymakers. About 14 million people in GB will see Tourism Ireland’s TV ads this spring, including a brand new Giro d’Italia ad. And an estimated 17 million people will see ads and promotions in the print and online versions of major newspapers like the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph. Extensive PR and publicity, e-marketing and social media activity, golf and business tourism promotions will also target millions of potential GB visitors.


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 5.2% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 43,000 jobs.
  • In 2014, Tourism Ireland estimates that almost 1.8 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately £508 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.