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23 Jul 2014

Walking boots at the ready!

Tourism Ireland invites international journalists to attend Sperrins Walking Festival

Leading journalists from France, Germany, the Netherlands and India took part in the Sperrins Walking Festival at the weekend, as guests of Tourism Ireland. Representing a range of outdoor and lifestyle publications, the journalists were here to experience the festival at first-hand and the unique and spectacular beauty of the Sperrins. 

After overnighting at Mullaghmore House in Omagh, the journalists had the opportunity to take part in a ‘Photo Walk’ along the River Glenelly or to experience an ‘Extreme Hike’, before spending time at the Ulster American Folk Park. The journalists also enjoyed a sightseeing tour of Belfast and visited some of the city’s top attractions, including Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic. Their itinerary was designed by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite these journalists to experience the Sperrins Walking Festival. It was a first-time visit for all of them and they were extremely impressed by the dramatic scenery, the different levels of walking on offer, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met. Fact-finding visits like this are an important element of our publicity programme; they are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure for Northern Ireland through the media overseas, helping us to showcase the superb tourism product on offer to hundreds of thousands 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, which is available in ten different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.