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05 Oct 2015

Out and about in Lisdoonvarna!

Tourism Ireland invites international journalists to The Outing

A group of 12 journalists from five different countries – including Britain, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the United States – flew in to attend The Outing over the weekend, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. The festival, now in its third year, is the world’s first-ever LGBT matchmaking festival and an offshoot of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. 

The group included lifestyle writers for both print and online publications, such as BuzzFeed (UK), Gay Times magazine, the Guardian, and Vanity Fair (Italy), as well as a TV crew from the United States filming for the Huffington Post and Free Speech TV (FSTV). 

First stop for the journalists was Dublin, where they enjoyed a gay walking tour of the city with Tonie Walsh from Queer Archive. They also sampled some of the city’s nightlife, including The Liquor Rooms and Panti Bar. Then it was on to The Outing and Lisdoonvarna, where they met legendary matchmaker Willie Daly. The group also visited local attractions like Doolin Cave, the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren Smokehouse. 

Following the historic ‘yes’ vote in last May’s marriage referendum, Tourism Ireland rolled out a special LGBT campaign, which featured a video showcasing our spectacular scenery and The Outing. Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite these influential journalists to Ireland, to experience The Outing 2015 and some of our top tourist attractions. Visits like this provide an excellent opportunity to showcase what Ireland has to offer; the articles and broadcasts these journalists will produce when they return home will reach millions of LGBT travellers, highlighting some of the many things to see and do here and the warm welcome they can expect when they visit.”

Research unveiled at World Travel Market last year showed the annual spend on travel by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people exceeded USD$200 billion for the first time in 2014. The report also showed that LGBT Europeans have a total spend on travel of USD$66.1 billion. International journalists with Aaron Toumazou, Tourism Ireland (centre), outside The Matchmaker Bar in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare.

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 8.4 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of €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.