The winners of a tourist photography competition, which challenged amateur photographers to capture the 'Wonders of Ireland', were revealed today (Tuesday, 18th August 2009). The announcement was made by Gulliver Ireland, the cost effective provider of reservations and tourism information, at the launch of the GoIreland.com Photography Awards 2009.
Held in association with John Hinde Ireland, the GoIreland.com Photography Awards is an international amateur tourist photography competition that highlights Ireland and its tourism qualities using a different theme each year.
The winning 'Wonders of Ireland' photograph, entitled 'Into The West', was taken by Ryan Wilson from County Down. It features Tyrella beach in Co. Down against the stunning backdrop of the Mourne Mountains, renowned as a venue for outdoor activities, which is represented by a horse and rider in silhouette. The photo also shows a dramatic sky with heavy clouds and sun bursting through, which was described as typically Irish.
Irish and visiting tourists submitted thousands of photo entries, with 56 per cent of images coming from visitors. The 11 runner-up photographs were the work of Belgian, Dutch, Spanish, UK, German and Irish tourists. They included images of Connemara Park, Glendalough, Achill Island, Ballycotton Bay, Burren National Park and Malin Head. The winning collection can be viewed at Winners 2008
Launching the 2009 awards, the fifth year of the competition, the judging panel invited Irish holidaymakers and visiting tourists to photograph examples of the beauty of Ireland's villages, towns and cities. Entrants are encouraged to use John Hinde's series of famous postcards and iconic images of Ireland years ago as inspiration.
The overall winner will receive an award-winning Olympus E-620 digital camera and the top 12 photographs will be reproduced as an original John Hinde calendar.
Further details are available at http://www.goireland.com/photos.htm. The closing date for entries is Friday, 16th October 2009 (6pm CET).
Speaking at the announcement, Dick Spring, Chairman of Gulliver Ireland and the competition judging panel, said, "Visiting and Irish tourists determine what is attractive about Ireland and our tourist product. These awards help identify those aspects of Ireland that keeps Ireland to the fore in tourists minds. We expect that this year's theme will produce the skill and imagination from entrants that has characterised the competition to date. So we encourage tourists to go through their holiday snaps or take a photo around this year's theme."
Cormac Leonard, John Hinde Ireland's Commercial Director, commented, "John Hinde is delighted to be associated with the GoIreland.com Photography Awards once again. We are happy to play our part in promoting tourism in Ireland and look forward to seeing visitor and Irish perceptions of the country."