Tourism Ireland has launched a brand new social media campaign in Great Britain this week, offering Facebook and Twitter communities the chance to determine the places a British couple will visit. Tyler and Amy Slade, from Brighton, are throwing caution to the wind by taking a mystery tour of the island of Ireland, relying on the public to steer their itinerary and help solve clues about their next destination. They don’t know where they’re going or where they’re staying; that’s down to social media communities around GB – and their skill at solving the various clues.
The innovative campaign – called "Ireland Mystery Tour" – will showcase some of our wonderful scenery and iconic attractions, in a bid to highlight the same trip to potential holidaymakers and to help boost visitor numbers from Great Britain, our largest and most important tourism market.
Approximately 2 million people around Britain will hear about the campaign, through Tourism Ireland’s extensive online and PR activity, to maximise involvement.
Here’s how it works. Tyler and Amy will be contacted each day by mascot ‘Baaarry the Sheep’, who will present them with a cryptic clue about where they need to go next. People around Britain will help them solve the clue and then also have the chance to vote on where Tyler and Amy should go and what they should do and see. People are sending tips and suggestions through Tourism Ireland's Twitter and Facebook feeds. From hiking in the Mourne Mountains in Co Down to maybe helping a farmer milk his cows in Co Kilkenny – it’s all up to the GB public. For every clue solved, every activity completed, the couple will win points. The final tally will decide their final destination here. Will it be an idyllic campsite, a friendly bed and breakfast or a luxurious five star hotel?
The couple touched down in Belfast yesterday where they received the keys to their campervan, a map and a clue. They got straight online to ask for help. Beginning their adventure in Co Antrim (they climbed Slemish yesterday), every detail of the couple’s journey will documented on their blog discoverireland.com/mysterytour, as they share videos and upload photos, so that potential visitors around GB can see their suggestions being carried out throughout the trip. Getting involved offers a chance for one other lucky couple in GB to win their very own trip to the island of Ireland.
Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: "Our latest social media initiative should prove to be a really effective way of engaging with online communities around Great Britain, really bringing our message of fun and friendliness to life. By placing our couple, Tyler and Amy, in the hands of our social media communities, they'll be taken on a whirlwind tour of some of the best hidden spots and iconic experiences around the island of Ireland. And, by bringing potential holidaymakers around GB along for the journey, we’re hoping to inspire them to begin planning their very own holiday here.
“Our research shows that our target consumers want a holiday full of unique experiences. The island of Ireland is well placed to deliver this type of holiday. We are urging people around GB to “Jump into Ireland”, to come and experience our iconic attractions and activities, and the engaging and welcoming nature of our people, that will leave them with a lingering smile that lives long into their memory.”
Great Britain is the largest single source market for visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering over 50% of all overseas visitors.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 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 (+6% 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.