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12 Nov 2015

Northern Ireland food and culture on the playlist in France

1.2+ million French to hear all about cultural Belfast and Northern Ireland as top radio show pays a visit

More than 1.2 million people around France will be hearing about Belfast and Northern Ireland early next year – following the recent visit by a crew from France’s top cultural radio programme, Villes-Mondes.

Tourism Ireland in Paris invited the presenter and crew of Villes-Mondes, which airs on national station France Culture, to come and record two, one-hour programmes. Both will highlight the food, music, writers, artists and film-makers of Northern Ireland. Food writer and broadcaster Trish Deseine – who was born and grew up in Northern Ireland – was interviewed for the show. Well-known Belfast fishmonger Walter Ewing was also interviewed.

With 2016 designated Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink, the radio programmes will profile St George’s Market, Hercules Brewery and OX Belfast and will include an interview with Paula McFetridge from Belfast Bred Tours. The rich arts scene in Northern Ireland will also feature – through interviews with Jim McKeever, Una Monaghan, Colin Davidson and Paul Seawright and with visits to the Ulster Museum and the Black Box.

People interested in culture – the ‘culturally curious’ – are an important target audience for Tourism Ireland. These travellers want to expand their experiences through landscape, culture and history and enjoy food, music and the arts.    

Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Southern Europe, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite the Villes-Mondes crew to visit Northern Ireland. With more than one million listeners to the show, it’s a really effective way of reaching a huge audience of potential holidaymakers for Northern Ireland. Publicity is an important element of our overall promotional programme, helping to raise awareness through the media in France of our wonderful food, vibrant arts scene and the many other things to see and do on a visit to Northern Ireland.”

  Food writer Trish Deseine (second right) and Belfast fishmonger Walter Ewing (left) being interviewed for Villes-Mondes; also pictured are sound engineer Laurent Groult (second left) and presenter Louise Henaff.

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 £446 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which will attract more than 16 million visitors in 2015.