As the Republic of Ireland gets ready to take on Germany next Friday (12 October) in the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup, Tourism Ireland is taking the opportunity to capitalise on the high profile sporting event. With plenty of exposure and ‘hype’ about Ireland through the media in Germany right now, the match is 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 12 October, targeting football fans around Germany and encouraging them to visit Ireland next year for ‘The Gathering’. Activity includes a social media promotion on Facebook, with a specially-created app targeting about 1.5 million football enthusiasts across Germany, encouraging them to upload a fan picture to be in with a chance to win a weekend in Dublin. Ads are also running right now on the popular German football website kicker.de, reaching hundreds of thousands of football fans; and a specially-created page on discoverireland.com is encouraging Germans to visit Ireland in 2013, with attractive offers and ideas for car touring around the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland’s PR activity around the game will also reach over 3,000 influential German journalists.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said: “You don’t have to be Irish to take part in The Gathering. Germans have a particularly affinity with Ireland and this is a great opportunity to reach a large group of German fans. Visitor numbers from European markets like Germany have held up in recent months, and we want to encourage more of them to visit in 2013. We also hope that Ireland’s legendary soccer fans will play their part in promoting all things Irish during the game against Germany.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The match next weekend is a great ‘hook’ for us to leverage, reaching a wide audience of football fans – or potential holidaymakers – around Germany. Building on the hugely positive legacy left by Irish football fans on the German people during Euro 2012 this summer, our message is that the island of Ireland is a fun and diverse destination, offering a variety of iconic experiences.
“Tourism Ireland is rolling out a major programme of promotions in Germany – and elsewhere around the world – to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland’, telling people everywhere that 2013 is the perfect year to come home. We are extending an invitation to the tens of millions of people across the world who have ancestral links with Ireland to visit next year, as well as to the many others who feel connected by friendship, business or education and to those who simply hold an affection for what Ireland has given to the world.”
Over half the German population takes at least one holiday abroad each year, making Germany the world’s largest outbound travel market and an important tourism market for the island of Ireland, last year delivering about 432,000 visitors.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 087-685 9027
Notes 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.
• In 2011, approximately 7.3 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland (+4% on 2010), delivering revenue of approximately €3.4 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 14 different languages covering every continent. In 2011, discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ will be Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative and will consist of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country.