Journalists from The Guardian, BuzzFeed UK, and The Huffington Post are among those who will document the Irish LGBT tourism experience.
The group of travelling media boasts a combined online readership of more than 77m people a month; a TV viewership of up to 40m US households; and a print circulation of more than 225,000.
The trip, organised by Fáilte Ireland, will see the group meet some influential figures in Ireland’s LGBT community, experience Dublin, attend The Outing Lisdoonvarna — the world’s first and only LGBT matchmaking and music festival — and take in the west coast’s most iconic sights.
The group will take a gay walking tour of Dublin with Tonie Walsh of Queer Archive before meeting with some of the country’s key LGBT influencers including drag queen and gay rights activist Rory O’Neill, aka Panti Bliss; Noel Sutton from the International GAZE Film Festival; Clyde Carroll of the newly established Rainbow Mile; and Frank Cleary, event director of The Outing Lisdoonvarna.
They will also enjoy cocktails in Dublin’s Liquor Rooms, dinner in Nick Munier’s The Avenue, and a nightcap in The Panti Bar on Capel St.
After attending the The Outing in Lisdoonvarna, the group take in some of the sites along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Head of publicity for Fáilte Ireland, Ciara Sugrue, said the group will get the chance to experience just how much Ireland has changed as a LGBT destination in recent years.
“This group’s interest in coming to Ireland is very much a product of the recent same-sex marriage referendum which brought Ireland to the attention of the global LGBT market,” said Ms Sugrue.
“This is without a doubt one of the largest press groups we have hosted this year so far, and the circulation of the visiting media will undoubtedly garner us great coverage and position Ireland as a happening and welcoming place to visit for many LGBT travellers.”
The creator and director of The Outing Festival, Eddie McGuinness, said more than 60,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event.
“Through the recent referendum and show for equality Ireland has shown the world that its doors are open to the gay and lesbian market, a market with a high potential,” he said. “It is now up to us, and the wider tourism sector, to provide our famous céad míle fáilte so that we can make the most of this opportunity.”
The trip is part of a wider programme of supports provided to Irish tourism by Fáilte Ireland in collaboration with Tourism Ireland.