Tourism Ireland has scooped the top prize for ‘Best Tourist Board Website’ at the French hospitality industry’s ‘Les Travel D’Or’ awards, for its winning appeal and content. Some 40,000 internet users from around France took part in this year’s voting, as well as a panel of media and web experts.
France is the fourth-largest tourist market for the island of Ireland, delivering almost 400,000 visitors each year. Maintaining visitor numbers from France has been challenging since the onset of the global recession; however, given that recent research suggests that 83% of French people plan their holiday online*, Tourism Ireland’s strong online presence is vital for the recovery of this important market.
Accepting the award, Severine Tharreau, Tourism Ireland France, said: “We are very proud that discoverireland.com has been singled out for this recognition. Given the huge part that the internet now plays in peoples’ research, planning and choice of holiday destination, it is essential that the site is as good as those of our competitors. This award acknowledges that the site is up there with the best and we are confident that it will continue to inform and inspire potential French visitors to choose Ireland, showcasing the superb tourism product on offer and the many things to see and do on a holiday here.
“Tourism Ireland has always strived to be at the cutting edge of eMarketing and we have strengthened our online presence this year. We know the island of Ireland holds strong appeal for the French, who rank Ireland sixth on the list of places they would like to visit. Tourism Ireland promotions this year are highlighting compelling reasons to visit and the great value available.”
‘Les Travel D’Or’ awards are the French tourism industry’s version of the Oscars. The Tourism Ireland site fought off keen competition in this category from other destinations’ websites, including Spain, Australia and Mauritius.
Discoverireland.com features information mined from a database of approximately 30,000 tourism products around the island of Ireland – including accommodation, festivals, attractions and events. Information is updated on a daily basis, ensuring it is an extremely dynamic and comprehensive source of information for overseas tourists. Links to social media sites, blogs, eBrochures and video pages are increasingly popular, demonstrating peoples’ increasing appetite for more interactive content.
Tourism Ireland’s websites are designed to ensure that potential and repeat customers receive world-class information and can be easily directed to online and other purchasing opportunities for holidays, packages and access transport.
Severine Tharreau (centre) accepted the ‘Best Tourist Board Website’ award on behalf of Tourism Ireland, at the ‘Les Travel D’Or’ awards ceremony; also pictured is Stéphane Hourcq, EasyVoyage.com, who sponsored the event, and Frédéric Vanhoutte, founder of ‘Les Travel d’Or’ awards.
* Ref: GfK/L’Echo Touristique survey
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.