Tourism Ireland is planning a major international marketing programme to fully capitalise on the tourism business potential emanating from the Galway stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. The nine-month event attracts huge publicity around the world and is an ideal opportunity to showcase Galway, the West of Ireland, watersports in Ireland, and more generally the many attractions that the island of Ireland has to offer as a holiday destination.
The race incorporates many of Ireland’s key source markets – the US, Mainland Europe and for the first time is visiting ports in Asia. China and India have been identified as two of the top new and developing markets for inbound tourism growth, so the race offers great marketing potential for Tourism Ireland in these important new markets.
The 2005-2006 race drew a massive global television audience of 1.8 billion viewers and the organisers are confident that this audience will grow further in 2008-2009. “Tourism Ireland plans to invest significantly in exploiting global TV and media interest in the event. In particular, we will have a presence in key market ports around the world, including Alicante, Cape Town, Quindao (China), Kochin (India) and Boston, targeting both consumers and the corporate audience,” said Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Brand Development & Markets.
"The search for meaningful and authentic experiences has emerged as a significant trend in tourism over recent years and, as was the case with the Ryder Cup and the World Rally Championships last year, securing a stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race offers us another wonderful opportunity to further communicate the opportunities that exist for tourists to take part in activities during their stay here. Tourism Ireland will be working hard, in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, to convey this message.
The last Volvo Ocean Race attracted over 2.8 million visitors to all ports during the period of the race and Tourism Ireland will pull out all the stops to ensure Galway and the island of Ireland attracts its fair share of visitors during the Galway stopover next year and beyond.” said Gregory.
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland, tel: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Norman Pratt, Weber Shandwick, tel: 01 676 0168/ 086 151 8921