Welcoming today’s announcement by Brian Hayes TD that holders of English Heritage cards will have free access to all OPW sites, Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland chief executive, said: “English Heritage has a huge membership of about 800,000 people, so this initiative is a fantastic way of reaching our core audience in Britain of ‘sightseers and culture seekers’, reminding them about the rich heritage and culture available right around Ireland in the many OPW sites and visitor attractions. It is also another ‘hook’ for us to push the message that Ireland now offers better value than ever before. It will draw positive attention and publicity for Ireland with potential holidaymakers around GB, offering an incentive to those people who may be considering a holiday or short break here this summer.
“Tourism Ireland promotions to highlight the new initiative will include social media activity (Tourism Ireland has almost 126,000 fans on its GB Facebook page) as well as PR and publicity targeting key travel and lifestyle media. We know that the heritage and culture of Ireland holds huge appeal for consumers in Britain and our other top markets around the world. Tourism Ireland highlights our rich heritage and culture prominently through our promotional activity.”
Great Britain is our largest and most important market for overseas tourism, accounting for over 50% of all visitors. Tourism Ireland has an extremely busy promotional programme under way this year, to grow tourism business from GB.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Notes to the editor
• 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.