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02 Oct 2017

International travel writers discover the ‘art’ of Northern Ireland

Travel writers from the Netherlands, Belgium and India spent several busy days in Northern Ireland, experiencing what’s on offer for international visitors interested in our music, literature and arts scene. Representing a range of print and online publications, the journalists were here as guests of Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI.

The journalists’ first stop was the FE McWilliam Gallery and Studio in Banbridge, where they checked out the unique collection of sculptures and Irish art. They then enjoyed a Bronte Homeland tour around Rathfriland, learning about the Bronte family connections with the area. The next day, the group spent time at the Armagh Library, where the first edition of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is housed. 

In Belfast, the journalists visited the Linen Hall Library, Belfast City Hall and took part in a C S Lewis trail and a Van Morrison tour. They also visited the Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy and experienced the local countryside that inspired so much of Heaney’s poetry.

Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Markets, said: “We were delighted to invite this influential group of journalists to Northern Ireland – helping us to showcase the wealth of arts, music and literary history to their readers and potential visitors. The journalists were really impressed by the range of things to see and do, our rich culture and heritage, as well as by the friendliness of the people they met. I am confident that their visit will result in lots of positive publicity for Northern Ireland.”
  Travel writers Priya Ganapathy (India), Jean Christophe van Kasteel (Belgium) and Kim Van Dam (the Netherlands), with Jason Diamond, F E McWilliam Gallery and Studio, Banbridge.

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.