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Business Eye - 10th August 2015


Antrim Glens company catches the eye of international travel TV producers

Richard Hall of PBS Media with Lyn Nelson of Emerald Heritage

Emerald Heritage, a social enterprise based in the Glens of Antrim, has wowed the producers of two international travel programmes and earned a place on their list of the world’s most exciting tourism ideas.

Established in 2014, the family-business hit on the idea of selling small plots of land in the stunning hillsides of the Glens – near where scenes of the TV smash Game of Thrones were filmed – and reinvesting the profits to reverse the serious deforestation of native Irish woodlands.

The creative concept has caught the attention of senior staff in PBS Media who have filmed it for two top rated programmes - ‘Jet Set’ and ‘Travel in Style’ – that are broadcast in Ultra HD to more than 60 million viewers in the US, Russia, China and the Middle East.

The features are a significant coup for the Glens area, which beat off stiff competition from several luxury destinations around the world to join Monaco, Venice and Mauritius on the exclusive list of places featured in the programmes.

Lyn Nelson, Director of Emerald Heritage, said:

This is an exciting and rare opportunity for us and for the wider Causeway Coast and Glens area. The region boasts some of the world’s most stunning locations and while millions of travellers make their way here each year, its potential remains significant. These broadcasts will give us an invaluable boost in some of our core tourism and business areas, particularly North America where one of the shows goes out on the US Travel Channel.

There is a strong international appeal and many people feel a deep connection with Ireland. We’ve tapped into that in a way that allows people to claim a pocket of land nestled in the Glens Wood, but in a way that will also protect the local heritage. It’s very much about profit with purpose and that’s struck a chord with people who want to connect with the land and preserve it for future generations. In the last year we’ve had customers from as far as Puerto Rico, Australia, Canada and across Europe – all of whom are now proud micro-land owners.”

As part of the filming for Luxury Travel and Jet Set producers will also record scenes at Ballygally Castle Hotel, the Causeway Coastal Route and locations used in Game of Thrones.

Richard Hall, Managing Director of PBS Media, said:

This is an area that has so much to offer producers and tourists alike, it’s not hard to see what keeps bringing them back year on year. Many people think they already know the Causeway Coast and Glens, but as we’re keen to show, the incredible locations, warmth of the people and the diversity of experiences mean there is always an adventure around each corner.

The area is a perfect fit for our programmes and rarely have we been challenged to condense so much potential content from one visit. Meeting with Lyn and hearing the story behind Emerald Heritage has been a real highlight. It’s not often tourists have a chance to legally and affordably own a part of a stunning destination and do a small bit to conserve the nearby environment.”

Both ‘Jet Set’ and ‘Travel in Style’ will air in forthcoming weeks.

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