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22 Oct 2015

Spotlight on Northern Ireland in Atlanta, Georgia

Tourism Ireland promotes Northern Ireland at 2015 Stone Mountain Highland Games

Representatives of the Ulster Historical Foundation, the Ulster-Scots Agency, the Belfast Tattoo and Causeway Coast Rentals travelled to Georgia in the United States, to join Tourism Ireland for this year’s Stone Mountain Highland Games. Tourism Ireland also invited Stonewall Folk Group, from Co Armagh, to entertain visitors to the Games.

Now in its 43rd year, the Stone Mountain Highland Games is an annual event which takes place in Stone Mountain Park, north-east of Atlanta in Georgia. Attracting almost 80,000 visitors of Scots-Irish and Scots descent during the two-day festival, the games are an ideal opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight Northern Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to participate in the Stone Mountain Highland Games once again this year. Our presence at the Games is a key element of our ongoing activity to showcase Northern Ireland as a compelling holiday destination in the United States, helping us to keep Northern Ireland high on the vacation ‘wish-list’ of Americans for 2016. Tourism Ireland recognises the potential of the Ulster Scots segment for tourism to Northern Ireland and specifically promotes to this audience, focusing on the strong ancestral links between this part of the US and Northern Ireland.”

Tourism Ireland has been targeting people of Ulster-Scots descent in the US for a number of years now. Promotions have included extensive publicity campaigns, advertising in newspapers in the southern states of the US, communications with “best prospects” who have Northern Ireland surnames, as well as participation in promotions like the Stone Mountain Highland Games.

  At the Stone Mountain Highland Games were (front, l-r) Judith McLoughlin, The Ulster Kitchen; Gillian Hunt, Ulster Historical Foundation; Warren Attwell, Fergal O’Brien, Colin Slaine, Paul Tully and Kenny Qua, all Stonewall Folk Group; and (back, l-r) Anita Gibney and Colin Wasson, The Belfast Tattoo; Mike Hawe, Isle Inn Tours; Keith Walls, Causeway Coastal Rentals; Catriona Holmes, Ulster-Scots Agency; and Virginia Goff, Tourism Ireland.

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, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which will attract more than 16 million visitors in 2015.