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22 Oct 2015

Tourism enterprises attend innovative workshop in Belfast

“Have you a story to tell?” workshop – maximising international publicity and social media to grow tourist numbers in 2016

Thirty Northern Ireland tourism enterprises came together at the Ulster Hall in Belfast today, for an innovative workshop organised by Tourism Ireland. The event – titled “Have you a story to tell?” – explored how local tourism businesses could generate more international publicity and social media exposure for themselves, and for Northern Ireland, and ultimately increase overseas tourism business in 2016 and beyond.

Publicity is an extremely powerful and effective way of promoting Northern Ireland and reaching potential holidaymakers around the world, so Tourism Ireland aims to generate as much positive coverage as possible for Northern Ireland, by maintaining regular contact with more than 20,000 influential media contacts around the globe. Already in the first nine months of this year, Tourism Ireland has generated about 2,600 good news stories about Northern Ireland in the international media, worth an estimated £64 million (if the organisation were to buy the equivalent media space or airtime).

Northern Ireland tourism enterprises and the experiences they offer are at the core of Tourism Ireland’s message. Siobhán McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s head of co-operative marketing, said: “Tourism Ireland aims to keep Northern Ireland in the news around the world, through a constant, steady flow of good news stories about the destination. ‘New news’ provided by our partners in Northern Ireland is the backbone of our publicity efforts overseas. It’s really important that those partners keep us informed and updated on new and interesting stories from their areas. Our “Have you a story to tell?” workshop was designed to help our partners become more involved in our PR opportunities overseas – which include press events, e-newsletters, media visits, our online media centre, Facebook and Twitter – so they get to tell their unique stories to as many people as possible worldwide.”

A busy media visits programme – run in close co-operation with Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland – has seen more than 1,200 influential journalists visit the island of Ireland this year, to experience the wealth of things to see and do here for themselves. Tourism Ireland is also in contact with more than 20,000 international journalists on a regular basis – through the distribution of press releases, media events and launches, and so on – to keep Northern Ireland in the news. As a result of this busy publicity and PR programme, a number of big international media players have featured Northern Ireland this year, including the Huffington Post, BBC One, Welt am Sonntag (Germany), France 2 TV and many more.

  Richard Watson, Marble Arch Geo Park, Co Fermanagh, with Xin Wang, Tourism Ireland (China), at the ‘Have you a story to tell?’ workshop in Belfast.

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.