Seven leading Australian travel writers visited Laois recently, as guests of Tourism Ireland.
The writers represent a news agency and various publications (like The West Australian newspaper and Australian Traveller magazine), with a combined reach of over 3.5 million people – or potential Australian holidaymakers.
The journalists were here to experience at first-hand some of the many things to see and do here, for feature stories they are planning to write about holidays in this part of Ireland.
One of the highlights of the group’s itinerary, designed by Failte Ireland, was a guided tour of Ballyfin House – with the writers visiting the costume department there and trying on period costumes to wear to their special ‘Downton Abbey’ style dinner.
Diane Butler is Tourism Ireland’s manager in Australia.
“Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring these journalists to Laois and Ireland. For many of the group, it was their first time here and they were extremely impressed by the wonderful scenery, the 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 very important; they are a really effective way for us to get positive exposure for Ireland through the media in Australia.
“The publicity value of the articles these journalists will produce when they return home is fantastic – they will reach over 3.5 million potential holidaymakers around Australia.”
2012 was a record year for visitor numbers from Ireland’s long-haul markets. And indications for 2013 are also positive; with Etihad’s increase of +35% in capacity on its service from Abu Dhabi to Dublin this year, which is in addition to the Emirates service from Dubai, the island of Ireland is more accessible than ever before for visitors from long-haul markets like Australia.