Images of Mayo will be broadcast into one million homes across Australia later this year, after one of the country’s most popular travel programmes, Gurus Explore, filmed on location here over the weekend.
Organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, the TV crew spent a week shooting footage in the west and the north west - including Westport and Croagh Patrick, where they met with local historian Gerry Walsh; a falconry demonstration at Ashford Castle; and a cookery lesson at Lisloughrey Lodge.
The result will be an hour-long programme broadcast in the autumn on national TV on Channel 9, on digital 9HD, as well as on regional channel NBN TV - with total viewership figures in excess of one million. The Gurus filmed in Northern Ireland last year; the resulting programme aired this spring in Australia delivering publicity worth some AUS$2 million (approximately €1.25 million ).
Orla Saul, Tourism Ireland Australia, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Gurus Explore crew has chosen to film in the west. This is a tremendous opportunity to highlight and showcase the very best of this part of the island of Ireland to a huge Australian audience; from its natural attractions such as the magnificent Atlantic coastline and the sacred mountain of Croagh Patrick, to its many charming towns and villages like Westport, and not forgetting its strongest asset - the warm welcome of the local people.
“The publicity value of a TV programme such as this is incalculable. It is an excellent way of promoting the wonderful tourism product in Mayo and the west of Ireland to a mass audience. Australia is a key market for tourism to the island of Ireland and we have a very strong and comprehensive promotional programme under way there for 2009.”