Tourism Ireland scooped the top award for ‘Best Use of Social Media’ at the prestigious Travolution awards in London recently, beating off strong competition in the same category from the likes of Virgin Atlantic, Cunard and Radisson Edwardian Hotels.
Tourism Ireland’s winning, Twitter-led campaign was called My Irish 140. It aimed to connect with the Diaspora throughout Britain, encouraging tweeters with Irish ancestry and those who felt a connection with Ireland to explore and talk about it in their Twitter stream. The campaign worked around the number 140 – the maximum number of characters in a Tweet. It kicked off at 1.40 am, with people encouraged to tweet what #makesmeirish in order to win a 140-hour short break in Ireland. A specially created webpage highlighted the best tweets and included a list of the top 140 things to see and do in Ireland.
The objective of the My Irish 140 campaign was to raise awareness of the island of Ireland as a fantastic destination and to engage a ‘new’, younger audience of potential British holidaymakers who enjoy a playful tweet. Over 140 hectic hours – the duration of the campaign – Tourism Ireland reached an audience of about 3.4 million people around GB, with 33,000 people actively engaging with the idea of an Irish connection. A number of celebrities also got involved – including rap legend MC Hammer.
Accepting the award, Vera Stedman, Tourism Ireland’s deputy head of Great Britain, said: “To be short-listed and indeed to win this award is fantastic and a reflection of the huge strides we have made over the last year in eMarketing and, in particular, social media. Tourism Ireland has always strived to be at the cutting edge of eMarketing and we have worked hard to strengthen our social media presence. We are constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways of reaching potential holidaymakers, to help the island of Ireland to stand out from other destinations in the very crowded GB marketplace. Given the huge part that the internet now plays in peoples’ research, planning and choice of holiday destination, it is essential that our eMarketing is as good as, or better than, that of our competitors.”
The Travolution awards take place annually, recognising companies that excel in the fields of online travel, digital marketing and technology. Judged by a panel of proven business leaders, experts and entrepreneurs, they are the UK travel industry’s highest accolade for innovation and excellence online.
Stéphane Hourcq, Easyvoyage (sponsor); Mark Radcliffe, BBC; Natalie Hubbard, Indicia; Sarah Rogers and Vera Stedman, Tourism Ireland; Ian Bates, Indicia; Lee Hayhurst, Travolution editor – at the Travolution awards in London, where Tourism Ireland took the top award for ‘Best Use of Social Media’.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Mobile: 087-685 9027
Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 40,000 jobs.
• Approximately 1.4 million overseas visitors came to Northern Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately £210 million.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.