Tourism Ireland’s suite of international websites experienced a record 8.9 million visits in the period January-August 2010, a +9% increase on the same eight-month period last year. The increase follows last year’s +34% increase to 13 million visits to www.discoverireland.com for the entire year.
Given the huge part that the internet now plays in peoples’ research, planning and booking of holidays, Discoverireland.com is a vital platform for Tourism Ireland to communicate with its customers overseas, showcasing the superb tourism product on offer and the many things to see and do around the island of Ireland. Brian Harte, Tourism Ireland’s Head of eMarketing, said: “Online marketing is a core part of Tourism Ireland’s overall marketing strategy across the globe and we now invest €12 million of our total marketing budget online. Our suite of websites provides a valuable platform for industry partners from across the island to promote themselves overseas, helping them to ‘close the sale’.”
As part of its strategy, embracing both traditional tour operator channels and the new eWorld, Tourism Ireland is placing particular focus on social media to inspire potential holidaymakers to come and visit the island of Ireland. The organisation has 81,000 Facebook fans across 12 key markets, including Britain, the US, Germany, France, Australia, Spain and Italy. It also has Twitter accounts in eight markets, with over 13,000 followers at the last count.
Brian Harte added: “Social media has made an enormous impact on the world of travel and holidays. There have been huge changes in the manner in which consumers plan and purchase holidays, with blogs and travel community websites such as TripAdvisor having an increasing influence on travel decisions. Through our social media activities, Tourism Ireland aims to capitalise on and influence what is now the new word of mouth.”
“While the lag effect of the world recession has continued to impact on overseas tourism to Ireland this year, this record number of visits for January-August is very encouraging and demonstrates a continued strong interest in visiting the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland is continually enhancing discoverireland.com, to increase its effectiveness in marketing the island of Ireland overseas a premier holiday destination”, said Brian Harte.
With 41 different websites, discoverireland.com provides information to potential holidaymakers around the world in 19 different languages, covering every continent. It features information mined from a database of approximately 30,000 tourism products including accommodation, festivals, activities, attractions and events. Information is updated on a daily basis, ensuring it is an extremely dynamic and comprehensive source of information for overseas tourists.
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 01 476 3493/ 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.
• 7.6 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2009, delivering revenue of €3.46 billion.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 41 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages covering every continent. In 2009 discoverireland.com attracted a record 13+ million unique visitors, a +34% increase in visits on 2008.