500,000+ Australians to read all about Northern Ireland
Top Australian journalists have been visiting Northern Ireland this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland, VisitBritain and British Airways. Representing a range of travel, food and lifestyle publications, with a combined readership of more than half a million, the journalists spent several days here – experiencing our spectacular landscape, as well as some of our major visitor attractions and activities.
Travelling along the Ards Peninsula, the group stopped off at Mount Stewart House and Gardens, recently re-opened following a three-year, £7 million restoration programme by the National Trust. The journalists also took part in a Game of Thrones ‘Winterfell’ activity tour at Castle Ward, Strangford. The following day, they enjoyed a Belfast city tour by bike and a walking food tour, sampling local artisan food and Belfast’s burgeoning restaurant scene. The group also had the opportunity to drive along the Causeway Coastal Route, with stops at the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle and the Old Bushmills Distillery. Their itinerary was designed by Tourism NI.
Diane Butler, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Australia and New Zealand, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite these journalists to Northern Ireland, to experience some of the many wonderful activities and attractions on offer for Australian holidaymakers. It was a first-time visit for all of the journalists and they were extremely impressed by the wonderful scenery, the variety of things to see and do, 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 in Australia, helping us to showcase the destination 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 2014, more than 2,000 print, online and broadcast articles and stories delivered positive messages about Northern Ireland to potential visitors around the world. Tourism Ireland estimates that this exposure was worth approximately £82 million.
Australian travel and lifestyle journalists on a tour of Mount Stewart House, Co Down. Pictured are Jenny Orme, British Airways (2nd right), with (l-r) Lee Tulloch, Fairfax Media’s Traveller; Natasha Dragun, Mindfood (magazine); Helen Anderson, The Weekend Australian; and Amanda Woods, Adventures All Round (blog).
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, Tourism Ireland estimates that almost 1.8 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately £508 million.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.