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24 Oct 2018

Spotlight on Northern Ireland in Atlanta, Georgia

~ Tourism Ireland promotes Northern Ireland at 2018 Stone Mountain Highland Games ~

Representatives of the Ulster-Scots Agency, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Visit Derry, as well as historian Billy Kennedy, travelled to Georgia in the United States, to join Tourism Ireland for this year’s Stone Mountain Highland Games. 

Now in its 46th 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 30,000 visitors of Scots-Irish and Scots descent during the two-day festival, the games are an ideal opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight Northern Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination. 

In advance of this year’s Games, influential journalists, travel trade and airline contacts from Atlanta were invited to a lunch event by Tourism Ireland – where they met with the various companies from Northern Ireland and heard all about what Northern Ireland has to offer American holidaymakers. 

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said: “Tourism Ireland was 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 2019. 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 now. 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.

  Janet Hancock, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland; Julie Andrews, Linen Hall Library; Oliver McKeown, Tourism NI; Billy Condon and Cahal McNamee, both Tourism Ireland; author Billy Kennedy; Shane Stephens, Consul General of Ireland; Andrew Staunton, British Consul General; Elene Michaelides, Visit Derry; Amanda Brown, Crystal Travel & Tours; Virginia Goff, Tourism Ireland; Greg Hinman, Celtic Tours; chef and author Judith McLoughlin; and historian Glen Pratt, at the 2018 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 61,300 jobs.
  • In 2017, we welcomed 2.175 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of £566 million. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.3 million visitors in 2017.