• Cyril McAree

Kilkenny hosts the Travel Classics International Writers Conference


Kilkenny hosted the prestigious Travel Classics International Writers Conference this past weekend (18/5 to 21/5). Based in the Lyrath Hotel, Co Kilkenny, it was an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Kilkenny’s great tourism offering, with conference guests including some of America’s leading travel writers. Fáilte Ireland, in conjunction with Tourism Ireland and Kilkenny County Council, bid and beat out other international competitors to host the Travel Classics International in Ireland for 2017.

Regarded by many as the world’s foremost networking event for travel writers and editors, it is a major coup for Irish tourism that the 2017 conference took place in Ireland. It brought together celebrated editors from a wide range of high profile publications – including titles such as Condé Nast Traveller, National Geographic Traveller and Harper’s Bazaar – which have a combined circulation of 87 million alone.

During a busy weekend, Kilkenny County Council organised tailored trips for attendees to sample the many interesting locations around the city and county giving the delegates the opportunity to generate many interesting stories and articles for top-tier travel and lifestyle publications around the USA. Tours to Highbank Orchards, Jerpoint Park and Nicholas Mosse pottery, as well as Kilkenny Castle and along Ireland's Medieval Mile through the heart of Kilkenny, the itinerary gave the visitors a real sense of the allure and authentic experience of Ireland’s Ancient East. The Kilkenny visit culminated in a dinner showcasing the best of Kilkenny food from #tastekilkenny at the Medieval Mile Museum which was transformed for the occasion by the hardworking staff of Kilkenny Civic Trust. The visit to the Museum was without doubt the highlight of the weekend and visitors enjoyed the experience of 800 years of history under one roof.

For over a decade, the Travel Classics Writers Conference has been the number one networking, marketing and mentoring event for a very select segment of the US travel media. The number of spaces available for participants and speakers is always limited (usually to 40 writers and 20 Senior Editors, respectively) to encourage high-quality, productive exchanges between writers and editors.

George Stone, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveller, and keynote speaker for the conference spoke glowingly of Ireland and Kilkenny as a destination: "Our collective goal as travel writers is to inspire our readers to explore. Our work is rooted in the assets and qualities that make places memorable, especially local people and local creative expressions. So there is no better place for us to gather than in Ireland, where creativity springs from every nook and where storytelling seems to run in the blood. National Geographic Traveller readers are wild about Ireland for these very reasons. They look to Ireland as a place of natural beauty, cultural depth, personal warmth, heritage, and the sort of awe that comes from feeling at home far away. I've always felt that travel is a creative expression, so when people choose to visit Ireland it is to connect with a beautiful place and also to learn more about themselves. The best journeys produce revelations, so this crew of travel writers will be aiming high and taking notes!" For information on visiting Kilkenny see www.visitkilkenny.ie


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