‘Discover Ireland’s Wonderful West’ Launched in New York

06 May 2008

Over 300 key US travel trade, carriers and media attended the launch in New York of ‘Discover Ireland’s Wonderful West’, a €3 million marketing campaign designed to boost business to the Shannon Airport Catchment Area post-Open Skies. The campaign, devised by Tourism Ireland, in consultation with local tourism industry representatives, highlights the attractions of the Western regions from Kerry to Donegal, including ease of direct access from many US gateway cities, good value fares and inclusive packages, and showcases a range of compelling offers from local industry.
Over 40 representatives from each of the regions covered by the campaign showcased the best of the West of Ireland holiday offering at the event, which included Accommodation, Things to Do, Things to See, Festivals and Events and Entertainment/Cuisine. The marketing campaign activity is already underway and includes print, radio and online advertising with carriers, tour operators and industry partners, direct marketing on and offline and special promotions. These activities are over and above Tourism Ireland’s core overseas marketing activities in 2008.
‘Discover Ireland’s Wonderful West’ focuses mainly on the US market which is the most lucrative, in terms of spend and length of stay. While direct transatlantic access into Shannon Airport will be reduced in peak season this year, there is still a considerable capacity of over 6,600 seats per week to target. The other main focus is Great Britain, Ireland’s largest source market, which attracted almost 5 million visitors in 2007. Tourism Ireland has also committed to invest an additional €275,000 in a promotional campaign in key Mainland Europe markets.
Speaking in New York, Tourism Ireland Chief Executive Paul O’Toole said that the campaign will add significant profile to the West of Ireland and early feedback from the US travel trade at the launch was positive. “I am delighted to say that the industry, from Kerry to Donegal, has got behind this campaign which enables us to promote a superb range of value-for-money products to the consumer in the US. Presenting a compelling, competitive package is vital for winning business – and I believe our industry colleagues have come up with the goods. For its part, Tourism Ireland, will ensure as many consumers as possible in the US, get to see and discover Ireland’s Wonderful West.”
Commenting on the prospects for overseas tourism to Ireland in 2008, Paul O’Toole said that all indicators point to a challenging year for overseas tourism this year. “Against a backdrop of an increasingly turbulent global economy, weak dollar and softening in consumer confidence, trading conditions will be tough for the tourism industry this year, particularly in the US and Britain, our two key markets.
“Good value partner offers will play a crucial role in helping us to convert interest into business. In that vein, our Spring campaign in the US uses the tagline ‘Ireland – can you afford not to go’ which is designed to address the impact of the weak dollar by highlighting the range of superb value-for-money products available throughout our island.”
The ‘Discover Ireland’s Wonderful West’ campaign is funded by an additional allocation of €3 million, secured by Minister Séamus Brennan and announced by him and Minister Noel Dempsey as part of the Economic & Development Plan for the Shannon Airport Catchment Area. The activity plan is the result of close collaboration between Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and a Tourism Working Group which was specifically formed for the purpose. The Group is made up of the Fáilte Ireland regions (North-West, West and South-West), Shannon Development and Shannon Airport, together with key industry players from the Catchment Area.
Participating Tourism Enterprises from Ireland’s Western Regions:
Fáilte Ireland regional representatives:
John Concannon                                              Fáilte Ireland Director of Regional Development
Fiona Buckley                                                    Fáilte Ireland South-West
Anne Melia                                                         Fáilte Ireland West
Paul McLoone                                                   Fáilte Ireland North-West
Pat Daly                                                              Ireland’s Shannon Region
Declan Power                                                   Shannon Airport

Rory Concannon                                                Delphi Mountain Resort                 Ireland West
Paula Carroll                                                       Ashford Castle                                Ireland West
Neil Britton                                                           Sandhouse Hotel                            North-West
Vivienne Nyhan                                                   Solis Lough Eske Castle               North-West
Anita Higgins                                                       Adare Manor                                    Shannon
Francis Brennan                                                 Park Hotel, Kenmare                      Kerry
Kate Burns                                                           Town & Country Homes                 All
Niamh O’Shea                                                     Killarney Park Hotel/                      Kerry
                                                                                Kerry Convention Bureau
Things to Do (Golf and Activities):
Justin Farrell                                                        North & West Coast Links         North-West
Paddy O’Looney                                                  SWING Golf Ireland                       Kerry
Joe Russell                                                          Doonbeg Golf Club                       Shannon
Marty Carr                                                              IGTOA/ Carr Golf Travel              All
John Ahern                                                           South West Walks Ireland         Kerry
Con Moriarty                                                         Hidden Ireland Tours                   Kerry

Margaret Jeffares                                                 Good Food Ireland                     All
Peter Ward                                                             Good Food Ireland                    Shannon
Seán Kelly                                                              Good Food Ireland                    Ireland West
Neil McGrory                                                          Good Food Ireland                     North-West
Patrick McMurray                                                   Oyster Shucker           
Stefan Matz                                                             Ashford Castle                           Ireland West
Festivals and Events:

Paul Fahey                                                               Galway Arts Festival                    Ireland West
John Cromlish                                                        Galway Arts Festival                    Ireland West
Batt Burns                                                                Story-teller                                     Kerry
Nandi O’Sullivan                                                     Ireland’s Shannon Region          Shannon
John Meehan                                                           Ballyshannon Folk Festival        North-West

Things to See and Experience (Culture and Heritage):

Aidan Grimes                                                          Kylemore Abbey                             Ireland West
Isobel Cassidy                                                        Lissadell House                              North-West
Chris Meehan                                                          Ireland’s Shannon Region           Shannon
Seán Lally                                                                 Limerick city/ Clarion Hotel         Shannon
Paul Doyle                                                                Musical instrument-maker          Ireland West
Peter Loughnane                                                    County Arms Hotel                         Shannon

Bunratty Entertainers
Arcana Celtic Gods
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland, tel: 087 685 9027
Mary McCarthy, Weber Shandwick, tel: 086 2568 429


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