Journalists from eight different countries – including the United States, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, China and India – enjoyed a fact-finding trip to Kilkenny this week, as guests of Tourism Ireland.
Representing various publications with a circulation of around 700,000 readers – or potential holidaymakers – around the world, the aim of their visit was to showcase some of the many things to see and do here in this part of Ireland, for feature stories they are researching about holidays here.
During their visit, the journalists enjoyed a walking tour of Kilkenny city, a tour of Kilkenny Castle and even tried their hand at hurling! Then it was on to Thomastown, where they enjoyed a visit to Jerpoint Abbey, followed by a guided tour of Jerpoint Park and a sheepdog demonstration there.
At Jerpoint park they were treated to a fine dining experience hosted by owners Joe and Maeve O’Connell. They enjoyed local artisan food produced in the Thomastown area.
The group’s itinerary, designed by Fáilte Ireland, also included an evening of traditional Irish music and storytelling at Lanigans Bar on Rose Inn Street and an overnight stay at the Pembroke Hotel on Patrick Street.
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 2012, 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.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite this group of journalists to Kilkenny 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 around 700,000 potential holidaymakers in eight different countries, helping to encourage more people to come here and experience this part of Ireland for themselves.”