A group of top travel and lifestyle journalists from Canada have been enjoying a fact-finding visit to Northern Ireland, as guests of Tourism Ireland.
Representing various online and print publications, the visiting journalists have a combined audience, including print and online readers, of almost 12 million people – or potential Canadian holidaymakers for Northern Ireland. Their visit was a fantastic opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight what’s new in Northern Ireland, as well as the rich and varied heritage and culture which visitors can experience on holiday here.
The journalists’ itinerary, designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, included visits to Titanic Belfast, St George’s Market and the Ulster Museum. They travelled along the Causeway Coastal Route, stopping off at various Game of Thrones locations, including Ballintoy Harbour and the Dark Hedges near Ballymoney; they also spent time at the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle. The journalists enjoyed a walking tour of Derry’s city walls and a visit to the Ulster American Folk Park, before taking a boat to Devenish Island on Lough Erne to explore the monastic ruins on the island.
Tanya Warren, Tourism Ireland Canada, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring these Canadian journalists to Northern Ireland. 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. With more than five million Canadians claiming ancestral links or affiliations with Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland, Canada is an important market for tourism. Fact-finding visits for influential travel writers are an important element of our promotional programme, helping us to showcase Northern Ireland to millions of potential holidaymakers.”
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. In 2013, approximately 2,000 print, online or broadcast articles and stories delivered positive messages about Northern Ireland to potential visitors around the world. Tourism Ireland estimates that this exposure was worth almost £60 million.
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.