All eyes are on Irelenad’s County Fermanagh this week as it is currently playing host to the world’s leaders at this week’s G8 summit at Lough Erne.
Additionally making headlines, the destaintion hosted US President Barack Obama and his family, for his second visit ever, to attend the G8 summit in the beautiful surrounds of Lough Erne County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.
Accompanying Barack Obama to Ireland is first lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia (14) and Sasha (12) were very keen to visit the Emerald Isle following their parents last, and first, visit in 2011.
While President Obama will be busy discussing tax, transparency, and trade as part of the G8 agenda, the Obama girls will take the opportunity to experience the Irish culture first hand and are taking a detour to Dublin for some history, scenery and world famous Irish entertainment.
“Hosting the G8 Summit offers an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Fermanagh and Northern Ireland, as well as to promote Northern Ireland as a top destination for hosting high level events and conferences,” said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.
“The international media profile accompanying the G8 is enormous and the ensuing publicity will raise the profile of Northern Ireland to help us achieve our goal of boosting visitor numbers. Tourism Ireland is focused on exploiting the tourism potential offered by the G8 to the fullest extent possible.”
Arriving in Dublin, the first stop on the Obama’s itinerary was Trinity College Dublin, Ireland’s oldest University where Michelle and daughters had the opportunity to explore the magnificent Old Library housing the world famous Book of Kells – a 9th-century gospel manuscript. The Obama family minus one will also discover more about their Irish Heritage, which they were first introduced to in 2011.
Other highlights of their trip were a visit to Glendalough, a glacial valley in County Wicklow home to a medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century, and the Wicklow Mountains National Park. The real treat however, was when Michelle and daughters experienced a special performance of the world renowned Riverdance, at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin’s city centre.
Research conducted by the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto concludes that the economic benefits of hosting the G8 are much greater for smaller communities and cities than capital cities which have played host to the event in the past. The economic benefit of a recent G8 summit in Huntsville, Ontario is estimated to have been in the region of £187 million.