The significant (+70%) increase in airlines seats between Canada and Ireland this summer 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 Aer Lingus service from Toronto, which landed in Dublin this morning, Jayne Shackleford, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Canada, said: “Congratulations to Aer Lingus on its new Toronto to Dublin service, which is wonderful news for tourism to the island of Ireland. We look forward to working closely with Aer Lingus, to maximise the promotion of this flight. As an island, direct, convenient and competitive access services are critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism.”
Jayne Shackleford continued: “With a significant increase in airline seats between Canada and Ireland, Tourism Ireland believes this is a market of considerable potential for growth in 2014 and beyond. We have an exciting 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 Ireland this year.
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, in May. 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 island of Ireland and Canada-based tourism partners, on the Toronto Star website, thestar.com, and through TravelAlerts.ca.
Tourism Ireland in Canada is undertaking co-operative campaigns with all the airlines flying from Canada, as well as with leading tour operators. Promotions this year include a digital campaign with Aer Lingus; and radio and digital ads in elevators and across underground stations in conjunction with Air Canada.
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.
And social media is an important part of the programme, with almost 40,000 Facebook fans in Canada alone and almost 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.
Helen Maguire and Jack Foley, both Aer Lingus; Alison Metcalfe and Jayne Shackleford, both Tourism Ireland, in Toronto Pearson International Airport before the departure of the inaugural Aer Lingus flight to Dublin.
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.