~ Tourism Ireland promotes Northern Ireland at 2019 Stone Mountain Highland Games ~
Representatives of the Ulster Historical Foundation, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Mid Ulster District Council, 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. Food expert and author Judith McLoughlin, formerly from Northern Ireland and now living in Georgia, was also in attendance, highlighting some delicious Northern Ireland produce. Entertainment was provided by the Stonewall Folk Group, from Co Armagh.
Now in its 47th year, the Stone Mountain Highland Games take 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 networking lunch event, hosted 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 2020. 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.
Billy Condon, Tourism Ireland; Andrew Staunton, British Consul General for Southeast US; Kathryn Thomson, National Museums Northern Ireland; Andrew Cornett, Stonewall Folk Group; Fintan Mullan, Ulster Historical Foundation; Shane Stephens, Consul General of Ireland for Southeast US; Mike Hawe, Isle Inn Tours; Paul McDonagh, Tourism Ireland; Oliver McKeown, Tourism NI; Mary McKeown, Mid Ulster District Council; Mark McGrann, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; Kenny Qua and Caitriona Traynor, both Stonewall Folk Group, at the Stone Mountain Highland Games in Atlanta.
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 65,000 jobs.
- In 2018, we welcomed 2.218 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of over £560 million.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 20.3 million visitors in 2018.