A group of 12 international journalists from the US, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Britain arrive in Ireland tomorrow (Friday 7th August) to experience first-hand the unique nature of Irish Hurling. The special ‘Game of Gods’ hurling experience familiarisation trip has been organised by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland.
They will top their trip by attending the All-Ireland Hurling Semi-Final between Kilkenny and Waterford at Croke Park this Sunday. Among the group attending the game is freelance writer Kathy Mangan, with the National Geographic Traveler Magazine.
Welcoming the journalists to Ireland, Minister for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ringsaid:
“Our unique culture, particularly our native sports, is a fantastic gateway for overseas visitors to enjoy an authentic Irish experience and really get to grips with what we are all about. I hope that the travelling media enjoy all the passion, exhilaration and enjoyment that a game at Croke Park can serve up and share that experience with their readers all around the world”.
“This trip is one of many media familiarisation trips to be organised jointly this year by the two tourism agencies, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. This collaboration results in coverage overseas, worth an estimated €86 million in advertising value, reaching an estimated 1 billion readers and listeners.”
Gaelic sports have been a growing part of the tourist offering for the past few years and visitors to Ireland can now purchase GAA match tickets in local tourist information offices.
The media on this weekend’s trip will engage in a number of hurling-related activities prior to Sunday’s game including a Celtic experience with Blackstairs Eco Trails in Carlow (www.blackstairsecotrails.ie ); a guided tour of Kilkenny castle followed by an introduction to Hurling from the Kilkenny Way ( www.kilkennyway.com ); and a trip to Na Fianna GAA Club in Dublin for some Hurling coaching with Experience Gaelic Games (http://www.experiencegaelicgames.com/ ).
Brenda King, from Fáilte Ireland’s International Publicity team, added:
“Hurling is uniquely Irish and if you want to experience one of the world’s fastest games, you have to come here. That’s the message we’ll be giving to these visiting journalists as we provide them with a full immersion into hurling so that they may truly understand and enjoy the experience they will encounter in Croke Park”.