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Tourism Ireland Launches Taste the Island in Britain

Tourism Ireland teamed up in Britain with celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna to launch Taste the Island, a promotion of Ireland’s extensive catalogue of food and drink experiences to domestic and international visitors

McKenna created a ‘harvest lunch’ in the grounds of her home, Broadspear House. It is based in Highclere Park where Highclere Castle, the set for Downton Abbey, is located. Tourism Ireland invited leading British food writers and influencers, as well as broadcast journalists, to the special foodie event.

High profile guests included TV presenter Laura Whitmore. McKenna was joined in the kitchen by Stevie Higginson, head chef and proprietor of the Square Bistro in Lisburn. Together, they created a delicious lunch to reflect the superb food offering from across the island of Ireland.

“We’re delighted to work with Clodagh McKenna and Stevie Higginson to launch Taste the Island in Britain,” said Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Markets, in a statement. “Their harvest lunch was an excellent opportunity to spread the word about our superb culinary offering. And, in hosting the lunch in her home, Clodagh also helped reinforce our message about warm Irish hospitality and what makes a holiday in Ireland unique and truly memorable.”

“Taste the Island is a truly exciting initiative. We look forward to promoting the programme in Britain and in our other overseas markets in the coming months and years. Food and drink are vital elements of today’s holiday experience and our Taste the Island promotions will raise awareness of Ireland’s rich food culture overseas.”

She added: “Tourism Ireland will encourage prospective visitors around the world to come and experience our award-winning local produce, dine in our excellent restaurants, visit our fantastic distilleries and breweries, or perhaps take in a food trail or festival. Our message is that there has never been a more exciting time to come and discover the food scene in Ireland.”

The ‘harvest lunch’ event in McKenna’s home in Britain marks the beginning of Tourism Ireland’s extensive programme of promotions to highlight Taste the Island around the world. This week, the marketing body will unveil the initiative in France – at an event for influential travel professionals in Lyon, a city which is often referred to as the gastronomic capital of France.

Meanwhile, 12 top tour operators from Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Belgium and the Netherlands have been invited to participate in a Taste the Island fact-finding ‘foodie’ visit in October. A Taste the Island event will take place too in Dubai in November. There, key food, lifestyle and travel journalists, as well as Dubai-based travel professionals, will attend.

A 12-week campaign with TripAdvisor in Britain will also target travellers who love good food and are  interested in visiting Ireland. Activity will include email marketing, online ads (appearing on desktops and mobile phones), as well as online videos – driving prospective visitors to the new Taste the Island section on Ireland.com. There they will find lots of great information and special offers.

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