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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Times Travel and Northern Ireland....

Timing is everything....

Last year, I was really pleased and excited to see the New York Times do a major piece on Belfast in its Sunday Travel section -- and within a week or two the stories on my favorite home-away-from-home were front page write-ups about riots and violence in the loyalist community. Quite a set back as far as I was concerned.

Well, tomorrow's NYT Travel Section is headlining golf courses in Northern Ireland -- a real boost to the region's image, and although I am no golfer I hear it is well deserved. As the article notes, the courses are as good as those in Ireland and Scotland, and far less crowded and more accessible.

But then there is the timing. This happens to be the infamous parade week in Northern Ireland, a time when sectarian flareups are as likely as not (see the Parades Commission site). Most of my friends are making the great annual escape to Dublin, England, Scotland -- and just about anywhere else other than Belfast and the six counties. It is a time when business make an effort to close up tight, including restaurants and hotels.

Whoever makes decisions on timing of such stories at the Times needs a wee bit of an education....

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