Tourism Ireland’s international website – Ireland.com – has been listed as one of the top ten “coolest tourist board websites” by The Sunday Times in Great Britain.
Tourism Ireland launched Ireland.com at the beginning of this year and since then, it has been rolled out in markets around the world. The suite of international websites attracted almost nine million visits for the period January to July 2013, an increase of +24% over the same period in 2012. The site has been completely redeveloped to deliver a transformed web experience for potential holidaymakers. One of the new, key features is that social media connections and sharing tools are embedded on every page, encouraging users to ‘like’ and share with all of their friends. Tourism Ireland is now the second most popular tourism board in the world on Facebook (after Australia), with over 1.6 million fans.
And the Ireland.com site is in good company in The Sunday Times listing – which also includes the websites for New York, Australia and India. Journalist Katie Leahy tells the reader to “expect inspiring video and free apps from the new generation of destination sites”. Describing Ireland.com, she says: “there are also links to special offers from hotels and tour operators, a flight and ferry-finder function that takes the strain out of crossing the Irish Sea, and, coming soon, a scrapbook function allowing you to store ideas on your own page.”
Welcoming the news, Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s CEO, said: “Tourism Ireland’s job is to inspire people around the world to come and visit the island of Ireland and our online presence is critical in communicating with potential holidaymakers everywhere – so we are really pleased that Ireland.com has been recognised by such an influential newspaper. We have been working hard throughout the year, to ensure a hugely enhanced experience for visitors to Ireland.com. The site is much more visual, with stunning images and less crowded pages; special offers and packages feature throughout the site; and social media connections and sharing tools are a key feature.
“The Sunday Times has an audience of about 2.5 million readers – so, it’s a fantastic platform to highlight our site, and holidays to Ireland, among prospective visitors right across Britain. Great Britain is the largest source of overseas visitors to the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland has an extensive promotional programme under way throughout 2013. We are rolling out our ‘GB Path to Growth’ strategy, which aims to return this all-important market to sustained growth. We are targeting new groups that are receptive to the type of experience Ireland can offer.”
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 2012, an estimated 7.27 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.51 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, consisting of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country; Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.