Fans of two of Europe’s top soccer teams are set to descend on Dublin on 18 May, when the city’s Aviva Stadium plays host to the 2011 UEFA Europa League final. With huge exposure through the media in Europe and elsewhere around the world – an estimated 40 million football fans tuned in to last year’s final in Hamburg – this high profile game provides Tourism Ireland with a fantastic opportunity to highlight the island of Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination, as well as a top location for sporting events.
Tourism Ireland has put in place a busy promotional programme, in advance of 18 May, to capitalise on the tourism potential the game offers, targeting football fans in tourism markets around Europe – including Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. Activity includes a major social media campaign through Facebook, targeting Tourism Ireland’s 150,000 fans across Europe; it features a fantastic competition to win a trip to Dublin, including tickets to the UEFA Europa League final, as well as regular posts and mini-blogs about Dublin and the game. An eNewsletter, highlighting the game and the competition, will be distributed to the Tourism Ireland database of more than 400,000 subscribers across Europe.
With up to 30,000 football fans expected to travel here for the game, a specially created web page on discoverireland.com will encourage them to extend their visit, with plenty of suggestions and ideas for things to do and see in and around Dublin. And for the visiting international journalists, a Tourism Ireland factsheet on Dublin will help them find their way around the city. Also, film footage of Dublin and Ireland will be provided to accredited media for their stories before or during the game.
Commenting on the importance of large sporting events like the UEFA Europa League final, Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Sports-related tourism has emerged as a very significant element of the global travel business in recent years – a multi-million euro market with a huge potential for countries who position themselves correctly. Previous high profile soccer events, such as the visit to Dublin of Real Madrid in 2009 and Villarreal in 2010, have provided Tourism Ireland with a wonderful opportunity to highlight Ireland. The UEFA Europa League Final is another ‘hook’ for us to leverage, helping us to reach a wide audience of potential holidaymakers in key markets across Europe and putting Dublin and Ireland in the spotlight.
“As well as the millions of people everywhere who will watch the match on TV, up to 30,000 football fans are expected to travel to Dublin, to see their football heroes in the flesh, delivering significant economic benefits to Dublin and Ireland. A large media contingent will also travel here to cover the game, which will help to showcase Dublin and Ireland in a very positive way to a TV audience of an estimated 40 million people.”
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Media & PR Manager, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 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 42 different websites, providing information in 20 different languages covering every continent. In 2010 discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.