FINNISH BLOGGER TAKES ON "CHALLENGE OF HER LIFETIME" â€“ TO CYCLE THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY
3 September 2014 â€“ Hundreds of thousands of people in Scandinavia, and elsewhere around the world, will be reading all about West Cork and the Wild Atlantic Way, following this week's visit by Finnish travel blogger Satu VÃ¤nskÃ¤-Westgarth. Satu is taking on the "challenge of her lifetime" â€“ cycling the entire Wild Atlantic Way, or some 2,500 kms along Irelandâ€™s western seaboard over a five-week period. This is the final week of her challenge.
Tourism Ireland invited Satu to undertake the marathon cycle â€“ to experience our newest visitor attraction and then inspire her readers and followers to come and discover it for themselves. As a self-confessed "total newbie when it comes to bike touring or biking", this has been the challenge of her lifetime. Satu arrived in West Cork on Monday (1 September) and will spend all of this week exploring â€“ and then blogging about â€“ what this part of Ireland has to offer, staying near Dursey Island, Glengarriff, Cape Clear, Union Hall and Kinsale.
She has been cycling approximately 100 kms each day, five days a week, and then taking the weekends off to rest. She began her odyssey in Donegal, in early August, and since then has visited almost every corner of the West of Ireland. Her final stop is Kinsale, where she arrives today, September 5th. She was joined by a Norwegian friend for the first two weeks; an English friend is with her for the final two weeks of the journey.
Satu is documenting her five-week journey, with daily updates on her Destination Unknown travel-blog, as well as on the popular online magazine, Skimbaco Lifestyle. Tourism Ireland has set up a dedicated page on its website, Ireland.com, about Satuâ€™s adventure â€“ which she has named â€œRide Wild 2014â€. Readers can also follow Satuâ€™s journey on her social media profiles, as well as on Tourism Irelandâ€™s Facebook page and Twitter stream (using hashtag #RideWild2014). Already, her adventure has sparked the interest of the travel media in her adopted country, Norway â€“ with an article appearing on the popular travel website boarding.no.
Aileen Hickey, Tourism Irelandâ€™s manager in the Nordic Region, said: â€œSatuâ€™s five-week cycle is a really effective way of engaging with people through social media, sparking their curiosity about the Wild Atlantic Way. She has been sampling some of the many activities on offer along the route â€“ from surfing to sea kayaking, hiking to horse-riding. Her blog is extremely popular and she has been posting lots of great photos and details of her cycle online â€“ as she explores the towns and villages of the Wild Atlantic Way and inspires her readers to come and discover this part of Ireland for themselves. Blogs and social media are recognised as strong influencers for prospective holidaymakers and we regularly work with them in promoting the island of Ireland.
â€œThe most recent figures available from the CSO show that we welcomed almost 100,000 Nordic visitors to Ireland in the first six months of this year. Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotional activity under way throughout 2014 â€“ to keep that momentum going.â€
This is just one element of Tourism Irelandâ€™s extensive programme of promotions to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way around the world this year. The Wild Atlantic Way is being promoted by Tourism Ireland across a range of platforms including TV, print and online advertising; on Ireland.com and through social media channels; at major international consumer and trade fairs; through familiarisation visits for influential travel agents, tour operators, as well as travel and lifestyle journalists and bloggers from around the world; and through Tourism Irelandâ€™s promotional material and brochures.
Satu VÃ¤nskÃ¤-Westgarth is a well-known Finnish travel blogger, living in Lillehammer, Norway. She has been writing her blog for five years.
PIC SHOWS: Finnish travel blogger Satu VÃ¤nskÃ¤-Westgarth (centre) near Ardgroom on the Beara Peninsula; she is pictured with Finbarr Harrington, chair of the Cork Community and Voluntary Forum, and her friend Kate Cornfield. She is here as a guest of Tourism Ireland.