Journalists from three different countries – the United States, Germany and the Netherlands – have been enjoying a fact-finding trip to the South East, as guests of Tourism Ireland. Representing various travel and lifestyle publications, the aim of their visit was to showcase some of the many things to see and do in this part of Ireland, for feature stories they are researching about holidays here.
During their visit, the journalists met Mary White of Blackstairs Eco Trails in Co Carlow, who escorted them on a foraging walk of the Blackstairs Mountains and the River Barrow area in Killedmond. Then, it was on to Co Kilkenny and Thomastown, where they took a tour of Mount Juliet Estate, paid a visit to Jerpoint Abbey and enjoyed a sheepdog demonstration at nearby Jerpoint Park. They also spent time in counties Waterford and Wexford. Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of journalists to Ireland and the South East. For many, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by our rich heritage, the wide variety of things to see and do, as well as by the hospitality and friendliness of the people they met. Fact-finding visits like this are an important element of Tourism Ireland’s overall promotional effort; they are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure for Ireland through the media around the world. The publicity value of the articles these journalists will write when they return home is fantastic – they will be read by thousands of potential holidaymakers in three different countries, helping to encourage more people to come here and experience this part of Ireland for themselves.” Tourism Ireland undertakes a busy publicity programme around the world each year to raise the profile of the destination – and media visits to Ireland are a key element of that programme. In 2013, there were over 1,400 media visits to the island of Ireland, which helped to generate articles and broadcasts around the globe worth about €50 million in equivalent advertising value. Image:Mary White, Blackstairs Eco Trails (second right), Jane Stokes, Fáilte Ireland (left) and international journalists get ready to enjoy a foraging walk of the Blackstairs Mountains, during a fact-finding visit to Co Carlow.