Planning your holiday? Visit our consumer website

29 Sep 2015

Popular Instagrammer showcases Ireland’s Ancient East to Australian travellers

Millions of people see images of Ireland’s Ancient East in global Instagram relay

Popular Instagrammer Gavin McKay highlighted Ireland’s Ancient East as part of a global social media initiative over the weekend, organised by leading Australian travel company Helloworld to mark World Tourism Day on 27 September.

Invited to take part in the initiative by Tourism Ireland in Sydney, Gavin – who has more than 55,000 followers on Instagram – photographed some of the wonderful scenery and attractions of Ireland’s Ancient East, including places like Glendalough, Newgrange and Slane Castle.

The #helloworldRELAY was a global Instagram relay, with some 60 countries taking part and involving 75 Instagram influencers around the world posting 12 inspiring images over a 12-hour period, from sunrise to sunset. As Gavin McKay posted his photos using #IrelandsAncientEast and #helloworldRELAY, they were pinned to a map on the Helloworld website, linking Australian holidaymakers to various Ireland itineraries. To mark the end of his Instagram marathon, Gavin hosted an ‘Insta-meet’ in Carlingford, Co Louth, inviting fellow Instagrammers to gather for a group photo and share their passion for great photography.

Sofia Hansson, Tourism Ireland’s manager Australia, said: “With some 5 million Australians checking in to Instagram every month, Tourism Ireland was delighted to be part of the Helloworld Instagram relay. It was a unique opportunity to inspire Australian travellers about Ireland’s Ancient East. Social media is an increasingly important element of our promotional activity and we have been working hard to maximise the impact of social media, to highlight the island of Ireland and inspire Australians to come and visit.”

Gavin’s photographs can be seen on and were also shared by Tourism Ireland on its Australian Facebook (about 42,000 fans) and Twitter (almost 11,000 followers), as well as via Helloworld’s interactive map and video compilation of the various relay images.

  Instagrammer Gavin McKay (centre) hosted an ‘Insta-meet’ in Carlingford, Co Louth, as part of the Helloworld global Instagram relay, inviting fellow Instagrammers to gather for a group photo.

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