A group of 20 choral directors from the United States was in Downpatrick and Northern Ireland recently, to discover more about potential performance venues, accommodation options and places of interest here for touring choirs.
Their visit – organised by Peter’s Way Tours in New York and Abbey Tours and supported by Tourism Ireland – coincided with St Patrick’s Day. As well as attending the St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, the group’s packed itinerary included a visit to The Saint Patrick Centre, St Patrick’s grave and Down Cathedral in Downpatrick and a tour of Belfast, with stops at St Peter’s Cathedral and Belfast Castle. The itinerary also took the directors along the Causeway Coastal Route and to Armagh, where they attended evensong in St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “We are delighted that this group of American choral directors took time out of their busy schedules to come and visit Northern Ireland. Choirs of all sizes and backgrounds tour regularly and are always on the look-out for new destinations and venues where they can perform. With its strong musical tradition, Northern Ireland is an ideal destination for touring choral groups. Tourism Ireland is working hard to to ensure that Northern Ireland is ‘top of mind’ for specialist group and tour organisers when they are putting together their programmes and itineraries.”
American choral directors at St Patrick’s grave, Downpatrick, with Dr Tim Campbell (centre), The Saint Patrick Centre.
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, we welcomed an estimated 1.8 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £508 million.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.Ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, Ireland.com attracted about 14.25 million visitors.