Ireland is now the fifth most popular tourism destination in the world on Facebook. Tourism Ireland, the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas, announced today that its fanbase on the popular social networking site now numbers a quarter of a million people around the globe – and counting.
As part of its overall marketing strategy, Tourism Ireland is actively using social media to inspire potential holidaymakers to come and visit the island of Ireland. The organisation has grown its fanbase from nothing at the beginning of 2010 to the grand total of 250,000 this week, making Ireland the fifth most popular country in the world. And, the Facebook ‘multiplier effect’ means that the organisation is seeing growth of about 2,500 fans per day. Tourism Ireland now has fans in 14 countries around the globe – including Great Britain, the US, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, India, Japan, New Zealand and the Gulf Countries.
Tourism Ireland has been working hard over the last year to maximise the impact of social media and to grow the online tourism conversation about Ireland around the world. Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s Central Marketing Director, said: “Whenever we ask people what most influences their choice of holiday destination, word of mouth is always the number one factor. Social media now allows word of mouth about a holiday destination to reach a truly global audience. For that reason, Tourism Ireland aims to get people talking about their positive experiences of our island and the many great things to see and do here.”
Tourism Ireland encourages fans and travellers to upload and share their experiences and favourite photos of Ireland; other fans then comment and recommend great places to visit and things to see and do. The organisation responds to messages posted about the island of Ireland, giving suggestions, offers from tourism partners, links and advice to potential visitors.
“Having a fanbase of this size allows Tourism Ireland to communicate over 3.5 million messages about the island of Ireland each month to prospective visitors,” Mark Henry continued. “When you consider that each of our fans has in turn an average of 130 friends, we can potentially engage with 32.5 million people worldwide today.”
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 01 476 3493 / 087 685 9027
Note 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.
• Approximately 6.6 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately €3 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 45 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.