Tourism Ireland Launches Major Marketing Drive in Britian and the US to Capitalise on State Visits

13 May 2011

Tourism Ireland has launched a major marketing drive in Britain and the United States to capitalise on the historic visits by Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama to Ireland.  It is estimated that the visits will generate up to €150 million in positive publicity worldwide.  Tourism Ireland plans to use this unique opportunity to convince potential holidaymakers in our two largest tourism markets to visit the island of Ireland.

Tourism Ireland’s promotional programme and publicity drive are being stepped up considerably – before, during and after the visits.
Tourism Ireland has commissioned film footage of the various locations on the itineraries, which is being distributed to media in Britain and all over the US.  This covers the sites being visited, landscape and scenery, culture and heritage, as well as themes like Irish food, equestrian Ireland, genealogy, Dublin, Kildare, Cashel, Cork, Moneygall (lakes, angling, cruising), Thurles (home of the GAA) and Roscrea heritage town etc.

Key travel and lifestyle media contacts have been invited by Tourism Ireland to come and visit the various locations on the itineraries, before and after the visits; a series of itineraries has been developed which reflect the routes of the visits and themes such as UNESCO City of Literature; most visited attractions, including the Guinness Storehouse and the Rock of Cashel; equestrian Ireland – the Irish National Stud and horse racing; and food and gourmet Ireland.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland said:  “Up to a thousand journalists from Great Britain, the US and elsewhere are expected to be in Ireland to cover the visits, beaming the island of Ireland directly into the homes of millions of potential visitors around the world.  We are working flat out to exploit this unique opportunity to highlight Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination, not only in Great Britain and the US, but in other markets around the world.”

Promotional activity in Britain, our largest tourism market, includes an integrated TV, radio and online campaign.  TV ads will air on key channels (including ITV 1, 2 and 3, Channel 4 and a range of satellite channels) next week, to coincide with the visit of Queen Elizabeth II. Over five million radio listeners around Britain will hear Tourism Ireland’s new radio campaign, featuring some of the main locations on the royal itinerary.  Interviews with well-known journalist and commentator Mary Kenny have been airing on BBC and other radio stations throughout Britain all this week.  And a special tourism supplement will appear with The Times on Saturday, 28th May.

In the US, Tourism Ireland will issue a media news release to 2,000 broadcast and online media, with video footage embedded featuring an interview with genealogist Fiona Fitzsimmon who has researched President Obama’s ancestral heritage in Moneygall.  Interviews with other Ireland-based genealogists and historians, such as Helen Moss and Turtle Bunberry (host of RTÉ 1’s The Genealogy Roadshow), will also be made available to US radio stations.  Online ads targeting the Irish diaspora will run on key websites including  Full-page ads in Irish-related publications such as Irish Echo and Irish America will be supported by advertorials with literary and genealogy themes.  A special, four-page cover wrap on AM New York on 23rd May will highlight the presidential visit.

Great Britain is the largest single source market for visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering over 50% of all overseas visitors and 35% of overseas tourism revenue.  North America is the second-largest market, delivering around 900,000 visitors who spend over €600 million each year.


Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland  t:  087 685 9027

Notes to Editors

Further promotional initiatives in both markets include:
• Tourism Ireland’s Royals in Ireland  factsheet has been distributed to a wide selection of TV, radio, newspaper, magazine and online contacts throughout GB and access to strong archive visual material has been provided;
• Royal correspondents and other media were briefed at the Irish Embassy in London recently;
• A ‘hero spot’ on in the US highlights the presidential itinerary and features strong tourism messages of genealogy and US presidential ancestral links to Ireland, as well as heritage and literary Dublin;
• Social media activity includes a competition on Tourism Ireland’s US Facebook page which has over 120,000 US fans, to name ‘those US presidents with Irish ancestry’.  Additional presidential-themed wall posts will also be increased during the week of May 16th, ahead of the visit;
• Tourism Ireland’s presidential factsheet, covering previous visits by US Presidents as well the ancestral links to Ireland of 20 US presidents, will be distributed to a wide selection of media contacts throughout the US.



Who's Who

Search for Tourism Ireland Contacts