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30 Jun 2015

Oui love Ireland’s Ancient East … French travel writers pay a visit!

2 million French to read all about Ireland’s Ancient East

Six top travel writers from France have been exploring Ireland’s Ancient East, taking in counties Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Irish Ferries.

Representing various print and online publications, with a combined readership of more than two million people – or potential French holidaymakers – the journalists were here to find out more about our newest visitor experience, Ireland’s Ancient East, and to experience at first-hand the wealth of things to see and do in this part of the Ireland. 

The group sailed to Rosslare and their itinerary – created by Fáilte Ireland – included tours of Hook Head Lighthouse, the Dunbrody Abbey Visitor Centre, House of Waterford Crystal and the Viking Triangle. In Kilkenny, they visited the National Craft Gallery, where they viewed the ‘Appetite for Design’ exhibition, and enjoyed tours of Kilkenny Castle and the new Smithwick’s Experience. 

Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s head of southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of influential journalists to come and discover our newest visitor experience, Ireland’s Ancient East. Fact-finding visits like this are very important; they are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure for the destination through the media in France, helping us to showcase the superb tourism experience on offer in this part of Ireland to more than two million potential French holidaymakers.

“France is one of the top four markets for tourism to Ireland and 2015 has got off to a positive start, with the most recent CSO figures showing growth of +12% for March to May, an additional 14,800 French visitors compared with the same three-month period last year. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that tourism growth continues and we have an extensive programme of promotions under way in France in 2015.”
Patrick Belfast, Dunbrody Abbey Visitor Centre (left), welcomes the French journalists and Anne Zemmour, Tourism Ireland (fourth left) to Dunbrody Abbey; also pictured are Caitríona Butler, Irish Ferries (third right), and tour guide Mick Langan (third left).

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 8.4 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.1 billion. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.