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06 Nov 2017

Destination delicious! Showcasing Northern Ireland’s fabulous food and drink in Canada

Tourism Ireland teams up with chef Emmett McCourt to promote Northern Ireland’s superb culinary offering in Toronto

Londonderry chef and lecturer Emmett McCourt joined Tourism Ireland in Toronto this weekend, at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto – an annual event celebrating agriculture and great local food.

With about 320,000 visitors each year, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair an ideal platform to highlight Northern Ireland’s superb food to a wide audience of prospective Canadian visitors. Emmett McCourt’s packed schedule in Toronto included:
  • a series of cookery demos on stage at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, discussing Northern Ireland produce; 
  • a Facebook live interview with CTV Toronto, as well as a series of media interviews with various Canadian media outlets; and
  • participation in the Royal International Chef Challenge, when top chefs from Canada,  the US and elsewhere around the world compete to win the ‘Royal’ title.
In 2016, we welcomed about 54,000 Canadian visitors to Northern Ireland, up +12% on 2015.
Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Canada, said: “We’ve been undertaking an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2017, to continue to grow Canadian visitor numbers to Northern Ireland. And, we were delighted to have chef Emmett McCourt with us in Toronto, helping to spread the word about Northern Ireland’s superb food and drink and what makes a vacation in Northern Ireland unique and truly memorable. Our message is that Northern Ireland is a superb choice for Canadian ‘foodies’.” 

This promotion is just one element of Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of activity throughout 2017 to highlight the wonderful culinary offering of Northern Ireland and build on the legacy of our special Year of Food and Drink in 2016. 
Chef Emmett McCourt with Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland, at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

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 61,300 jobs.
  • In 2016, we welcomed a record 2.1 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of over £543 million. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted about 19.37 million visitors in 2016.