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17 Oct 2016

Spotlight on Northern Ireland in Atlanta, Georgia

Tourism Ireland promotes Northern Ireland at 2016 Stone Mountain Highland Games

Representatives of the Ulster Historical Foundation, the Ulster-Scots Agency, National Museums Northern Ireland and the Belfast Tattoo travelled to Georgia in the United States, to join Tourism Ireland for this year’s Stone Mountain Highland Games.

Now in its 44th 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 three-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 is 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 2017. 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. 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.

  Oliver McKeown, Tourism NI; Sara Stanton, Cara Travel; Anita Gibney, The Belfast Tattoo; Catriona Holmes, Ulster-Scots Agency; Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, British Consul General; Shane Stephens, Irish Consul General; Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland; Patrick McLain, National Museums Northern Ireland; Judith McLoughlin, Shamrock & Peach; and Mike Hawe, Isle Inn Tours, at the 2016 Stone Mountain Highland Games.

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.