Journalists from all around the globe are in Belfast today. They have travelled from Great Britain, the US, France, Spain, Australia, India, China, Japan and the Netherlands – as guests of Tourism Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board – to be here for the one hundred year anniversary of the day the famous ship was launched in the shipyards of Harland & Wolff.
Earlier today, the journalists attended an event at the Harland & Wolff drawing office to commemorate this special day. They also had a sneak preview of the iconic Titanic Belfast visitor attraction which is due to open in April 2012. Their packed itinerary also includes a visit to the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, to see the new TITANICa exhibition.
With the countdown to 2012 and the centenary of Titanic now well under way, Tourism Ireland has put in place an extensive series of promotions and events to keep Belfast, Northern Ireland and Titanic in the international spotlight and to encourage people around the world to come and see where the whole story began.
Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s Central Marketing Director, said: “We have an exciting promotional programme under way in the run-up to 2012 and the Titanic centenary. Our aim is to capitalise on the huge interest that exists among people around the world in Titanic, building the recognition of Belfast as the home of the famous ship. The focus of our promotions is on building awareness of Belfast and Northern Ireland and on celebrating the proud history of Belfast’s industrial, shipbuilding and maritime past. We will keep Belfast, Northern Ireland and Titanic in the international spotlight and will encourage visitors from around the world to come and see where the whole story started.”
Tourism Ireland’s dedicated Titanic website – www.the-titanic.com – is capitalising on the huge global interest in Titanic and helping to build awareness of the link between the famous ship and Belfast. Targeting people everywhere surfing the web for information about Titanic, the site is in five languages and is designed to tell the ship's story and to get consumers around the world thinking about visiting here. Central to the website is a series of short films, which are being released each month during 2011 and 2012, recounting different and intriguing aspects of the Titanic story. There are currently seven films on the site, with more to be deployed over the coming months. One of the films will trace the ship’s association with Cobh, with filming due to take place in the Co Cork town during the summer.
Social media is also helping to spread the word. The Titanic films are available on Tourism Ireland’s dedicated YouTube channel where they have been viewed about 55,000 times to date. The related Facebook page has almost 50,000 fans and there is even a presence on Twitter.
Other Tourism Ireland promotional activity overseas, helping to profile Northern Ireland and its shipbuilding heritage, includes:
• Advertising: from this month onwards, Tourism Ireland’s advertising in Great Britain – on TV, radio and online – features a special Titanic message.
• Radio: ‘Radiotorials’ (radio interviews) about Titanic are airing today on 20 BBC and other radio stations throughout Britain, involving interviews with well-known adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, whose cousin sailed on Titanic;
• Publicity: Tourism Ireland is generating word-of-mouth about Titanic through publicity, with a number of influential journalists from around the world, having been here already or due to come and visit.
• Co-operative Promotions: campaigns are under way with a number of airlines and ferry partners in GB and Mainland Europe.
• Working with the Travel Trade: Tourism Ireland is also working closely with overseas tour operators, to ensure Titanic, Belfast and Northern Ireland feature prominently in their programmes.
• Direct Marketing: DM activity is targeting both general and specialist audiences with a Titanic message.
Overseas journalists pictured with Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland (front, second from left) at the iconic Titanic Belfast visitor attraction which is due to open in April 2012. They are here for the one hundred year anniversary of the day Titanic was launched in the shipyards of Harland & Wolff.
Elaine Moore/Clair Balmer Tourism Ireland
Tel: 028 7035 9260 Mob: 07766 527719
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.
• 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.