Tourism Ireland will be tapping into the tremendous interest and goodwill generated by the St Patrick’s celebrations next week, as the spotlight focuses on the island of Ireland around the world. Over seventy million people claim links with Ireland and Tourism Ireland will be hosting a range of media, travel trade and consumer events, to capitalise on the global interest in all things Irish.
In this very difficult year for inbound tourism, the industry from around the island of Ireland, as well as air and sea carriers and market-based tour operators, are responding to the challenges and have provided Tourism Ireland with close to 6,000 great value offers and deals to promote to consumers around the world. For example, Irish Hotels Federation members are offering GB consumers deals starting at £69 per person. In the all important North American market, Aer Lingus is offering New York to Dublin airfares from $199.
Tourism Ireland’s 2009 spring campaign is the most intensive and targeted ever mounted by the organisation. As the global recession continues to bite on consumer confidence, affordability and great value for money dominates all advertising, consumer and trade promotional activities in overseas markets this year.
Paul O’Toole, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to showcase our wonderful tourism product to a huge audience across the globe, as people instantly identify St Patrick’s Day with the island of Ireland. We are envied by tourism agencies around the world who would love to have such a well recognised occasion associated with their destination. In this particularly difficult year, anything that gives us stand-out from our competitors is very welcome.
“It is absolutely essential that we convey the message that there has never been a better time to visit the island of Ireland. We know that we are facing an extremely difficult and challenging environment for our tourism industry. The recession has hit travel spending, as well as other forms of consumer spending and competition is fierce. The tourism industry has responded quickly to the challenges with a huge range of good value offers which we are promoting aggressively in all our main markets.”
NBC’s TODAY SHOW live St Patrick’s broadcast
In a huge coup for Ireland and for the tourism industry here, eight million viewers of the top US morning TV programme, the Today Show, will tune in live to Dublin and Powerscourt Gardens over the St Patrick’s Holiday, courtesy of Tourism Ireland and the St Patrick’s Festival in Dublin.
Celebrating St Patrick’s Day between China and Rio de Janeiro
The most remote Irish ambassadors on St Patrick’s Day must surely be the crew of the Green Dragon boat in the Volvo Ocean Race who will have just rounded Cape Horn; sailing somewhere in the South Atlantic, they have promised to “don the green” for a quick photo to celebrate the occasion. The nine-month Volvo Ocean Race attracts huge publicity around the world and has provided Tourism Ireland with a superb opportunity to showcase Galway, water sports in Ireland, and more generally the many attractions that the island of Ireland has to offer as a holiday destination.
Dublin Parade Live Online
For those who can’t make any of the parades or events in person, Tourism Ireland will bring the St Patrick’s Parade live on its website to consumers in 23 markets around the world. Cyber consumers will be able to enjoy firsthand the great spectacle of the Dublin parade by logging onto www.discoverireland.com on 17th March.
Online movies go live
The first in a series of online movies or “webisodes” will kick off on St Patrick’s Day – featuring Connemara and Belfast. They will feature on Tourism Ireland’s international suite of 41 websites, and on social networking sites such as YouTube and Facebook. The ‘stars’ of all of movies are members of the general public who won an all island competition because of their infectious enthusiasm for their favourite part of Ireland.
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland t: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027