800,000 people in Canada and elsewhere around the world are set to read all about the Wild Atlantic Way. Award-winning Canadian travel bloggers Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil – whose blog is called The Planet D – arrived in Ireland earlier this week, on the inaugural Aer Lingus Toronto to Dublin flight, as guests of Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus.
Married for over 15 years, Dave and Debra travel the world, showcasing their real-time journey and broadcasting their stories and experiences through their writing, photos, video and engaging social media. Often referred to as ‘Canada’s Adventure Couple’, their blog is considered to be one of the top travel blogs in the world, with an audience of almost 800,000 across their own website and social media platforms. Tourism Ireland in Toronto invited Dave and Debra to spend almost two weeks here, to experience our newest visitor experience, the Wild Atlantic Way – and inspire their 800,000 readers and followers to come and discover it for themselves.
The significant (almost +70%) increase in airlines seats between Canada and Ireland this summer presents new and exciting opportunities to position the island of Ireland as a year-round destination for Canadian travellers, according to Tourism Ireland. Jayne Shackleford, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Canada, said: “Dave and Debra’s Planet D blog is hugely popular, so their visit is a fantastic opportunity to create a major impression on their 800,000 online followers, as they explore the Wild Atlantic Way and then share their experiences. They have already posted lots of great photos and details of their visit online – inspiring their readers to come and discover this part of Ireland for themselves. Blogs and social media are recognised as strong influencers for prospective holidaymakers and we regularly work with them in promoting the island of Ireland.
“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 a busy programme of promotions happening right throughout the year; our message is that it has never been easier for Canadians to get to the island of Ireland. We promise our visitors an experience that will be unique, full of engagement and great fun.”
The Planet D bloggers are some of the first international media to travel the entire length of the Wild Atlantic Way since it was officially launched earlier this year. As well as writing on their blog, Dave and Debra will be tweeting about their time here (@theplanetd) using the hashtags #WildAtlanticWay and #PlanetDIreland; and posting regularly to their Facebook page.
Tourism Ireland undertakes a busy publicity programme around the world each year to raise the profile of the destination – and media visits to Ireland are a key element of that programme. In 2013, there were over 1,400 media visits to the island of Ireland, which helped to generate articles and broadcasts around the globe worth about €50 million in equivalent advertising value.
Canadian bloggers Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil, blogging from Skellig Michael, Co Kerry
Further media information:
Brian Swift, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01-476 3425
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.