As Co Fermanagh prepares to welcome the world's leaders to next week's G8 summit at Lough Erne, Tourism Ireland is working hard to capitalise on this unprecedented opportunity to showcase the island of Ireland to potential holidaymakers around the world and to convince them to visit in 2013 and beyond.

With hundreds of international media set to descend on Fermanagh next week to cover the summit, Tourism Ireland has put in place a promotional programme to maximise the tourism potential of the two-day event.

The organisation is undertaking a targeted PR campaign, generating positive publicity in Great Britain, Ireland's largest tourism market, as well as in other key markets overseas. Activity involves familiarisation visits for leading travel and lifestyle media in advance of the summit; extensive social media activity and engagement with international media during the G8.

Commenting on the tourism potential of the G8, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland said: “Hosting the G8 Summit offers an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Fermanagh, the North West and Northern Ireland, as well as to promote the island of Ireland as a top destination for hosting high level events and conferences".

"The international media profile accompanying the G8 is enormous and the ensuing publicity will raise the profile of the destination to help us achieve our goal of boosting visitor numbers to the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland is focused on exploiting the tourism potential offered by the G8 to the fullest extent possible.”

Specific activity being undertaken by Tourism Ireland includes the following:

• Tourism Ireland has already flown in a group of leading GB media, including journalists from titles like the Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday, to sample the G8 experience in advance of the summit and to write about it on their return home.

Tourism Ireland also arranged for a crew from BBC Breakfast to visit recently, to film a feature on the venue of the G8 Summit; the piece will be seen by about 1.5 million viewers – or potential holidaymakers – around Great Britain, when it airs this week. And a group of GB, German, Canadian, Belgian and Australian travel writers also visited the G8 Summit venue recently.

• In May, Tourism Ireland invited a high profile group of MICE (meeting, incentives, conferences and events) agents from GB to visit. These agents specialise in sourcing unique destinations and properties suitable for events, conferences, incentives and group travel.

• Press packs – highlighting the many great things to see and do here – will be distributed to the international media staying in the border counties. And for those journalists not travelling here, the G8 and the island of Ireland are being showcased on Tourism Ireland’s online media room – to media around the globe – with compelling film footage.

• Tourism Ireland’s plans to follow up on the G8 include familiarisation visits for specialist golfing media and business tourism decision-makers.

• Tourism Ireland will maximise the publicity around the visits of accompanying VIP officials or others (e.g. family members) over the coming days; photography of VIPs visiting some of our tourism attractions will be shared with potential holidaymakers worldwide via social media, particularly on Facebook (Tourism Ireland is the second most popular tourism board in the world on Facebook, with over 1.5 million fans worldwide).

• Fermanagh’s role as the location for the G8 Summit has been promoted widely at top Tourism Ireland promotions across the world since the announcement was made, including at the World Travel Market in London and ITB in Berlin, as well as at a host of top trade and consumer fairs and on trade missions to Mainland Europe, the US, the UAE and Brazil.

• Tourism Ireland is also promoting the destination in the context of the G8 through e-newsletters to its databases of key consumer, trade and business tourism contacts in top markets including GB, the US, Germany, France and other European markets, and in Australia.