Positive publicity worth over €17.3 million was generated for Kilkenny by Tourism Ireland in travel and lifestyle media worldwide in 2011.
Images of Co Kilkenny were beamed into the homes of over two million Americans on St Patrick’s Day 2012, on the NBC TV network. Footage was captured during an earlier visit by the NBC crew (in early March) around Castlecomer and Moneenroe, and elsewhere in Ireland, for a series of short film clips, which aired on NBC during its live coverage of the New York St Patrick’s Day parade. During their time here, the NBC crew visited Castlecomer Discovery Park, where they interviewed genealogist Helen Kelly. Helen discussed the ancestors of Frank Comerford, this year’s Grand Marshal of the New York St Patrick’s Parade, who left this part of Ireland in the mid-19th century. The crew also spent time filming scenes in Moneenroe with local historian Máire Downey, who discussed the history of the famine and emigration.
Kilkenny also featured in the Guardian UK supplement last summer, Tourism Ireland targeted millions of prospective visitors around Great Britain – through the Guardian newspaper and website – with a special Kilkenny promotion which highlighted the many things to see and do for British holidaymakers in Kilkenny and the South East. The campaign reached a wide audience around Britain, including over 2.2 million visitors each month to the Guardian website and almost one million readers of the newspaper.
As well as a full-page feature on Kilkenny in the Weekend magazine, a promotional film was uploaded to the paper’s website showing off some of the many hidden gems to be found in this part of Ireland. In the film, Kilkenny man Mick Greene took the viewer on a tour, highlighting the wonderful heritage, culture and scenery of Kilkenny city and county. He began in Kilkenny Castle with its impressive Great Hall; then it was on to Thomastown where he dropped in to The Blackberry Café. He also showed off Kilkenny by night and finished his journey in Kells, where he and his family enjoyed a picnic in the grounds of Kells Priory.
Tourism Ireland leverages publicity for Kilkenny Arts Festival, the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival and other local festivals and events on a regular basis – through ezines and press releases to media, trade and consumers in key markets overseas.