With the first semi-final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest taking place this evening in Malmö Arena (which will include a performance by Ireland’s Ryan Dolan), Eurovision is certainly top of everyone’s minds in Sweden and elsewhere around Europe!
Given the massive popularity of the song contest (it’s the world’s most-watched non-sporting event!), Tourism Ireland is rolling out a fun promotional campaign this week, reminding Eurovision fans in Scandinavia about Ireland’s seven wins in previous Eurovision Song Contests and highlighting our strong tradition of music and dance, and in particular Riverdance. According to research, experiencing Irish music and dance is one of the top five experiences for Scandinavian holidaymakers to Ireland.
Promotions include a specially-created page on Tourism Ireland’s website, Ireland.com, to highlight our strong heritage and culture of traditional music and dance. Thousands of Eurovision fans in Sweden are seeing Tourism Ireland’s online ads this week, on key lifestyle and travel websites; activity also includes an online search campaign – targeting all those people searching online for “Eurovision” with messages about Ireland. A busy publicity and PR programme is reaching influential Swedish journalists; and Ryan Dolan was given a warm welcome to Malmö at a special event hosted by Tourism Ireland, which was attended by international journalists as well as some leading Swedish tour operators and travel agents. Social media is also being harnessed; Tourism Ireland’s Facebook page in the Nordic region has over 15,000 fans and messages will be posted this week to engage with fans in the run-up to the famous song contest. Tourism Ireland also sponsored Ryan Dolan’s recent pre-contest promotional visit to Moscow; the organisation is stepping up its promotional efforts in Russia, to grow our share of Russian travel to western Europe and boost awareness of Ireland.
Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland’s director of markets, said, “Our promotions this week are a fun way to highlight the island of Ireland in Sweden and elsewhere around Europe. Our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people with the message that there has never been a better time to visit the island of Ireland. With such a huge following, the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö presents us with a really great opportunity to highlight our rich heritage of music and dance to Eurovision fans and potential holidaymakers. We are highlighting The Gathering, including this summer’s Riverdance Gathering and the many other cultural and music events taking place right across Ireland this year.”
Ireland’s Eurovision singer Ryan Dolan (third left) with dancer Colm Farrell; backing vocal Alison Vard Miller; drummer Nick Bailey; backing vocal Leanne Moore; and dancer Alan McGrath, at the Tourism Ireland welcome event in Malmö.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 087-685 9027
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• In 2012, an estimated 7.27 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.51 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, consisting of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country; Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.