Tourism Ireland today announced an additional €1.5m marketing blitz in Great Britain over the coming weeks to help stimulate business now and into the early months of 2010. This initiative will augment the extensive autumn campaign which kicked off in late August. According to Tourism Ireland, the period September-December traditionally yields as much as 30% of overall tourism business.
The global tourism industry continues to be hit hard by the worldwide recession and the extreme volatility in major markets. Great Britain, our largest and most important market, has been no exception. Outbound travel from Britain to Western European destinations declined by -15.2% between January and July this year. Travel to the island of Ireland has also been affected but has fared marginally better over the same period. Tourism Ireland is in the process of finalising a review of the British market, initiated earlier this year, and will launch a new marketing strategy and action plan in early December which will be rolled out in Britain next year.
The new €1.5m campaign will facilitate additional co-operative marketing activities to year end with industry partners including Dublin Tourism, Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Stena among others, putting the spotlight on our Culture, Festivals, Food and our People. ‘Better value than ever before’ will be a central message across all marketing activities, showing what that will mean for the British visitor on the ground here.
In addition, Tourism Ireland is setting up a programme of face-to-face meetings and platforms for island of Ireland-based tourism industry to re-engage directly with the British travel trade and travel intermediaries. A key part of this trade activity will focus on World Travel Market in November, which is one of the world’s largest travel showcases, attended by industry from over 200 countries.
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Martin Cullen TD, officially launched the new campaign today at a meeting with industry representatives in Tourism Ireland’s Dublin offices. Speaking at the launch, Minister Cullen said: "This additional €1.5m marketing initiative will provide further, welcome stimulus to the Great Britain market until year end. It will build on the excellent work that has gone on in the market throughout the year, when tens of millions of consumers, through the length and breadth of Britain, received targeted messages from Tourism Ireland about our country, how easy it is to get here and what great value is available. Because it is our largest market, the Great Britain market has a vital role to play in the survival, recovery and growth of tourism on the island of Ireland. This extra marketing initiative launched today will allow us to send across an even stronger message to differentiate Ireland in the marketplace. It will also reaffirm the value message and help demonstrate to the consumer that value and quality here have never been better. Additionally, in early December, I look forward to launching the new Project Britain Strategy and Action Plan as part of Tourism Ireland's overall Marketing Plan."
Commenting on the additional marketing activity, Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland said: “This new campaign enables us to extend and strengthen consumer marketing activities to year end as well as setting up new inter-trade activities to help industry secure vital new business opportunities for 2010. 2009 has proved to be one of the most challenging years in the last decade for tourism in Ireland and worldwide. Consumers dramatically cut back on their holidays and their spend and it has been a rough ride for everyone involved in tourism. Recent economic data suggests that the US and key European economies including France and Germany are emerging from recession albeit at a marginal pace but nevertheless, a positive sign for the start of a recovery next year and beyond.”
Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism, Martin Cullen TD (centre) pictured with Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive Tourism Ireland and Hugh Friel, Chairman Tourism Ireland at the launch of the major marketing blitz in GB.
For further press information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 01 476 3493 Mobile: 087 685 9027