Tourism Ireland took the top award for ‘Best Use of Social Media’ at the prestigious Travel Marketing Awards in London last night.
Beating off tough competition from STA Travel and P&O Ferries, Tourism Ireland won the award for its innovative social media campaign ‘Nick and Sam’s Road Trip’. Tourism Ireland was also runner-up in the ‘Best Use of Direct Marketing’ category.
Tourism Ireland’s winning campaign set out to showcase the richness and diversity of a holiday here among online audiences around Great Britain, our largest and most important tourism market. The campaign involved a road trip like no other: Tourism Ireland invited a young British couple, Nick and Sam, to tour Ireland by car for seven days but it was a road trip with a twist – they weren’t in charge of their own itinerary. The couple’s online audience decided where they should go in Ireland and what they should do. Once the adventure began, the audience interacted with the road trippers through Facebook, Twitter and a bespoke website page. Every detail of their journey was shared through maps, video blogs and photos uploaded to a live feed, so that the online audience could see their suggestions being carried out.
The aim of the campaign was to allow the audience to experience Ireland online and prompt them to then come on over and experience it for themselves. Over 50,000 people visited the campaign page, with 20,000 entering a competition to win a road-trip of their own; and over 61,000 participated by social media, with engagement on Tourism Ireland’s Facebook page increasing by +230%.
Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted that our social media campaign has been singled out for this recognition at the Travel Marketing Awards. To be short-listed and indeed to win against such tough competition is fantastic. Tourism Ireland is constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways of reaching potential holidaymakers, to help Ireland stand out from other destinations in the very crowded GB marketplace. Social media is now an integral part of all Tourism Ireland campaigns, complementing the other more ‘traditional’ elements of marketing. In our promotions, we promise potential visitors an experience that will be unique, full of engagement and great fun.”
The CIMTIG (Chartered Institute of Marketing Travel Industry Group) awards are awarded annually. They recognise marketing excellence in the travel industry and showcase the most innovative work of the sector. They are judged by a panel of 26 of the ‘leading lights’ in the travel, creative and marketing industries – including John McEwan, chairman of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents); Mark Maddock, managing director of Lastminute.com; and Nigel Huddleston, head of travel for Google.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 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.
• 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.