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03 Feb 2015

Pen pals – Belgian journalists visit Wicklow

Three leading journalists from Belgium visited Wicklow over the weekend, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Ryanair. The journalists – who have a combined readership of thousands of people in Belgium – were here to check out some of the many things to see and do on a holiday in this part of Ireland – and, in turn, to inspire their readers to put Wicklow and Ireland on their holiday ‘wish list’ for 2015.

The group’s itinerary – designed by Fáilte Ireland – included a visit to Powerscourt House and Gardens, followed by a guided tour of the monastic site at Glendalough. The journalists also enjoyed a tour through the Sally Gap and lunch in nearby Laragh village.

Danielle Neyts, Tourism Ireland Belgium, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of influential journalists to visit Wicklow and Ireland. There really is no substitute for being able to come here and experience what Ireland has to offer at first-hand. The journalists were impressed by our spectacular scenery, as well as by the friendliness of the people they met. Their visit will result in extensive and positive publicity for Wicklow and Ireland, in a number of online and print publications in Belgium.”

2014 was a very good year for Irish tourism from Belgium – with visitor numbers increasing by +6% over 2013. Tourism Ireland in Brussels will be pulling out all the stops this year, to keep the momentum going and ensure that success continues. The organisation is rolling out a busy programme of promotions, highlighting that the island of Ireland is a great place to visit, is easily accessible and offers good value for money.

  Elaine McPartlan, Tourism Ireland (second right), with Belgian journalists, at Powerscourt House and Gardens, Co Wicklow.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
  • In 2014, we welcomed an estimated 8.6 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.26 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.