The significant (almost +70%) increase in airlines seats between Canada and Ireland presents new and exciting opportunity to position the island of Ireland as a year-round destination for Canadian travellers, according to Tourism Ireland.
Welcoming the new, year-round Air Canada rouge service from Toronto, which landed in Dublin this morning, Jayne Shackleford, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Canada, said: “Congratulations to Air Canada rouge on its new year-round Toronto to Dublin service, which is wonderful news for tourism. Tourism Ireland is working closely with Air Canada rouge and Air Canada Vacations, to maximise the promotion of this flight. As an island destination, the importance of convenient, direct flights cannot be overstated; we know there is a proven direct correlation between access to Ireland and growth in visitor numbers.”
Jayne Shackleford continued: “With a significant increase in airline seats between Canada and Ireland this year, Tourism Ireland believes this is a market of considerable potential for growth. We have an extensive programme of promotions happening right throughout the year; our message is the island of Ireland has never been more accessible nor more affordable for Canadians.”
With more than five million people in Canada claiming ancestral links or affiliations with the island of Ireland, Canada is an important market for tourism. Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way, to grow the number of Canadian visitors to the island of Ireland this year.
Co-operative activity with Air Canada rouge and Air Canada Vacations includes print, radio and online advertising; as well as ads in elevators and in underground stations.
Tourism Ireland is also undertaking co-operative campaigns with the other airlines flying to Dublin from Canada (e.g. a digital campaign with Aer Lingus), as well as with leading tour operators.
Tourism Ireland is placing a major focus on Ireland’s first long-distance touring route, the Wild Atlantic Way, stretching all the way from the Inishowen Peninsula in Co Donegal to Kinsale in Co Cork. The organisation is also highlighting the Grande Partenza or ‘Big Start’ of the famous Giro d’Italia cycle race, which will bring more than 200 of the world’s top professional cyclists to Belfast, Armagh and Dublin, this month. Other events being highlighted by Tourism Ireland include Limerick City of Culture and the Croke Park Classic, when the University of Central Florida takes on Penn State, bringing all the ‘razzmatazz’ of their college football season opener to Dublin.
An online advertising campaign will run until June – on popular news, travel and lifestyle websites – reaching millions of Canadians; Tourism Ireland’s ads are also running in key ethnic publications, inviting the Diaspora to visit Ireland; and more than four million Canadians will see special offers, from the island of Ireland and Canada-based tourism partners, on the Toronto Star website, thestar.com, and through TravelAlerts.ca.
Tourism Ireland also operates an active, year-round programme of PR and publicity activity, which includes inviting influential travel and lifestyle journalists to come and visit Ireland; journalists from outlets like Canada AM, the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and Rogers TV have been invited by Tourism Ireland to visit Ireland this year.
Social media is an important part of the programme, with almost 40,000 Facebook fans in Canada alone and more than 7,000 followers on Twitter. Promotion through social media allows Tourism Ireland to demonstrate the fun and friendliness for which Ireland is renowned.
Business tourism and golf promotions are also a focus for Tourism Ireland in Canada throughout 2014.
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 2013, we welcomed an estimated 8 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.64 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.