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28 Sep 2015

100 million Americans to see Wild Atlantic Way on popular TV shows

Images of the Wild Atlantic Way in Galway, Sligo and Donegal will be seen by about 100 million people across the United States early next year, after episodes of two popular television shows, Family Travel with Colleen Kelly and World Golf Getaways, were filmed here this week. The show’s presenters – Colleen Kelly and Bob Fennell – and their film crew were here as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, to film footage for the shows, which will air on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS – the public TV network) and NBC Sports respectively, in spring 2016.

Filming took place in Galway city, at Rusheen Bay and at Cnoc Suain in Spiddal. The crew captured footage at County Sligo Golf Club, Donegal Golf Club, Narin & Portnoo Golf Club, Donegal Castle and Glencolmcille Folk Village. They also enjoyed a deep sea fishing trip out of Killybegs Pier. 

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said: “We are delighted that the producers of ‘Family Travel with Colleen Kelly’ and ‘World Golf Getaways’ have chosen to film in the West of Ireland, showcasing the Wild Atlantic Way to a huge American audience. Television and film are recognised as strong influencers for prospective holidaymakers and Tourism Ireland regularly works with TV and production companies around the world, to facilitate the making of travel and lifestyle programmes and films around the island of Ireland. The publicity value of these TV programmes is incalculable – it is a great way of promoting the West of Ireland, helping to inspire travellers to come and experience the destination for themselves.”

The United States is an extremely important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2015 looks set to be another record year, with the most recent CSO figures showing growth of +15% in visitors from North America for January to July, almost 111,000 extra visitors compared with the same seven-month period in 2014. Presenter and executive producer Colleen Kelly (third right) with executive producer Tricia Fusilero (second right) and crew, at Killybegs Pier, Co Donegal.

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 about €4.1 billion. 
  • 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.