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04 Oct 2016

600,000 ‘foodies’ to read all about Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink

Tourism Ireland invites international food writers to sample the flavours of Northern Ireland

Travel and food writers from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and India have been visiting Northern Ireland, as guests of Tourism Ireland. The journalists – whose publications have a combined circulation of more than 600,000 readers – were here to find out all about Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink.

Following an itinerary devised by Tourism NI, the group’s first stop was a bread-baking class at James Street Cookery School in Belfast. After a visit to St George’s Market, the group travelled along the Causeway Coastal Route to the Giant’s Causeway, stopping off at Ballycastle to meet with local baker Dara, who bakes sourdough bread and ‘sweet bakes’ using local, organic produce. The following day, the journalists enjoyed a visit to the Hans Sloane Chocolate Festival in Killyleagh; as well as a food tour of Co Down with Tracey Jeffery, of NI Food Tours, which included various artisan food and drink producers.

Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Markets, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite these influential travel and food writers to Northern Ireland, to experience our superb food and drink and to hear the stories of the passionate people who rear, make, cook, distil and serve this wonderful produce.

“We are continuing to highlight Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink this autumn and what makes a holiday in Northern Ireland unique and truly memorable. Our message is that Northern Ireland is a superb choice for ‘foodies’ for a holiday or long weekend break.”

Media visits are just one element of Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of activity throughout 2016 to highlight Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink. A specially created section on Tourism Ireland’s international website,, is also encouraging prospective visitors everywhere to come and “take a bite out of Northern Ireland”.

  Shane Neary, Nearynogs artisan chocolatier (2nd right), invites the nternational food writers to sample his chocolate, at the Hans Sloane Chocolate Festival in Killyleagh, Co Down.

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 2015, we welcomed over 2 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £454 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted more than 16.6 million visitors in 2015.


Previous Press Release

03 Oct 2016

Hitting the road ‘Down Under’