More than 1.7 million people in India will be reading all about Fermanagh and Northern Ireland later this year – following the visit of five leading journalists from India this week.
Invited here by Tourism Ireland, the group of journalists was from a variety of travel, lifestyle and fashion publications (including the Indian version of Elle magazine), with a combined circulation of over 1.7 million people across India. They were here to experience what a holiday in Fermanagh and Northern Ireland has to offer – so that they can inspire their readers to put the Lakelands on their holiday ‘wish list’ for 2015 and beyond.
Their itinerary, designed by Tourism NI, included a cruise on Lough Erne, as well as a tour of the Marble Arch Caves and lunch in the Enniskillen Hotel. The group then travelled on to Belfast, where they had a tour of the city and visits to Crumlin Road Gaol, Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic. There was also some time to sample the variety of food available in Northern Ireland, with stops at Ballygally Caslte for a special Game of Thrones afternoon tea, Sawers Belfast (Northern Ireland’s oldest deli) and Co Couture (artisan chocolates).
Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s manager Asia, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring this group of influential journalists to Fermanagh and Northern Ireland – helping us to spread the good news about the destination through the media in India. There really is no substitute for being able to come here and experience what Northern Ireland has to offer at first-hand. The journalists were impressed by our spectacular scenery, the range of things to see and do, as well as by the friendliness of the people they met. I am confident that their visit will result in extensive and positive publicity for Fermanagh and Northern Ireland, in a range of online and print publications in India.”
A key message for Tourism Ireland in India this year is the new British-Irish Visa Scheme, which enables visitors from India and China to visit both the island of Ireland and the UK in 2015 on a single visa of either country. Amanda Burns continued: “The introduction of the British-Irish Visa Scheme is really good news, making it easier than ever before for visitors from India and China to visit the island of Ireland. Given that visitors from these markets are travelling a considerable distance, and often want to include more than one destination on their itinerary, it makes sense to make it as easy as possible for them to visit both Ireland and the UK on a single visa. We are working closely with our colleagues in VisitBritain, to leverage the benefits of the new scheme in both India and China.”
Stephen Nixon, Erne Tours (left), getting ready to cast off with journalists from India and Beena Menon, Tourism Ireland (second left).
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.