Niall Gibbons CEO Tourism Ireland.
Tourism Ireland has identified a number of strategic areas to underpin its promotional activity in 2019. These include:
Sustainable destination marketing: The island of Ireland now welcomes more visitors from around the globe than ever before. Tourism of this scale provides great benefits to our economy; however, there is an opportunity to spread this success across the year and more equitably around the entire island. Not only will this benefit more local communities, it will also ensure we continue to deliver our renowned Irish welcome and outstanding visitor experience. Tourism Ireland has developed a set of sustainability principles to guide its marketing programmes into the future. These include:
a greater focus on less visited attractions and locations that have overseas appeal, such as Diamond Hill in Connemara, Achill Island and Fanad Head Lighthouse.
driving business in the off-peak and shoulder seasons; and
co-operative activity with carriers, industry partners and the travel trade overseas that drives either regional growth or season extension.
New global campaign: Tourism Ireland’s new global campaign – ‘Fill Your Heart With Ireland’ – will refresh and reinvigorate the presentation of the island of Ireland overseas. It aims to connect more emotionally with prospective visitors, by inviting them to ‘Fill Your Heart with Ireland’, with the promise that spending time here will help restore their lust for life. The campaign will feature a range of less visited attractions and locations and will highlight the passions that research shows motivate our target audience, such as landscapes and heritage; and will dial up activities like walking, cycling and kayaking. This is Tourism Ireland’s first major campaign in seven years; its ‘Jump Into Ireland’ campaign was developed in 2011 and has played its part in delivering seven years of consecutive growth in overseas tourism.
Digital and social media: In 2019, Tourism Ireland will continue to leverage its strength in digital and social media. The organisation will re-develop its international website, Ireland.com – for roll-out in 2020 – to ensure its digital marketing continues to be ‘best in class’ in the 2020s. The new technology will also allow Tourism Ireland to re-target visitors and potential visitors with personalised messages and offers, designed to appeal to their specific interests. Tourism Ireland is now the fourth most popular tourism board in the world on Facebook (4.3 million fans), number four on Twitter (504,000 followers) and number four on YouTube (49.3 million views).
Global Ireland 2025: In the context of the Government’s Global Ireland 2025 initiative, Tourism Ireland will implement its US, German, emerging markets and British market growth strategies. This will see the organisation expand its operations in China – with new representation in Hong Kong – and increase its marketing activity in the US and Canada, as well as in emerging markets like Japan (particularly around the Rugby World Cup).
Leverage once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for Northern Ireland: The final series of Game of Thrones will air in spring 2019; Tourism Ireland is planning a year-long programme of activity to maximise this opportunity. And, Tourism Ireland will also take every opportunity to highlight The 148th Open at Royal Portrush.
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