Montecatini, the Tuscan town where Giovanni Trapattoni and Ireland’s Euro 2012 squad are preparing for next month’s finals in Poland, has turned green this week.
A quirky “green windows” promotion, sponsored by Tourism Ireland, is running this week in the local newspaper, Il Tirreno – encouraging all the shops and businesses in Montecatini to adopt an Irish look. Using a variety of material supplied by Tourism Ireland, the businesses are dressing their windows and shop-fronts, competing to win the prize for the best green windows in town! And over beside the squad’s training ground, at the ‘Casa d’Irlanda’ centre for media and the general public, Tourism Ireland is busy handing out brochures and information about holidays in Ireland. The organisation is also distributing travel information from a kiosk in the centre of Montecatini.
With millions of people around Europe and the rest of the world set to tune into Euro 2012, Tourism Ireland is capitalising on the tourism potential of the tournament – particularly in Italy and Spain, two important markets for Irish tourism and two of our opponents in Group C. The organisation is highlighting the island of Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination, as well as a top location for sporting events.
Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar said: “This is a really good, entertaining way to promote Irish tourism as part of Euro 2012. Our team and our fans always generate tremendous goodwill when they travel, and it’s wonderful to see this being reciprocated by the town of Montecatini. It’s important to use every opportunity to encourage people to visit Ireland, and this is a great example.”
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “There is massive interest and excitement around Euro 2012, so it is a really good opportunity for us to raise the profile of Ireland, particularly in Italy and Spain. It’s a great platform for us to deliver the message that Ireland is a fun and diverse destination, offering a variety of iconic experiences and that there has never been a better time to visit. These Euro 2012 promotions are just one element of our overall first half marketing drive around the world to deliver growth in visitor numbers in 2012.”
In Spain, Tourism Ireland will leverage the national devotion to football and the massive media coverage there around the Ireland v Spain game on 14 June. Radio ads will air on stations in Madrid and Barcelona that week, and during the match itself, urging Spanish football fans to come to Ireland to experience true sporting passion – through our Gaelic games. Ireland ads will be seen by about 665,000 football fans – or potential Spaniards holidaymakers for Ireland – in top sporting newspapers Marca and As; and on major sports websites like marca.com, mondodeportivo.com and as.com. And a further 800,000 people will be targeted through email, with messages about Ireland and the chance to win some Euro 2012 souvenirs.
In Poland, Tourism Ireland also plans to target the Euro 2012 fans converging from across Europe, with “Jump into Ireland” ads running on the big screen during “Ireland Day” in the official fan zone in Poznań. Posters, banners and brochures will also help highlight Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination.
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 2011, approximately 7.3 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland (+6% 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.