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Tourism Ireland’s rolls out major first half promotional campaign

€19.5/£17 million first-half promotional blitz targets travellers around the world 

Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive first-half marketing campaign to build on the success of 2016 and continue to grow overseas tourism to the island of Ireland in 2017. 

The Wild Atlantic Way, Causeway Coastal Route, Ireland’s Ancient East, Belfast and Dublin continue to be a major focus of Tourism Ireland’s promotions in 2017. Events like the Irish Open at Portstewart and the Women’s Rugby World Cup are also being leveraged. 

Great Britain    
  • St Patrick’s promotions: Tourism Ireland, together with tourism partners from the island of Ireland, will attend the annual St Patrick’s family event in Glasgow’s Merchant Square, promoting holidays here to an estimated 7,000 visitors to the event. Tourism Ireland in Scotland will also support St Patrick’s Day events in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Coatbridge.

    In London, leaders of the Irish community, as well as top British travel trade, business tourism and media contacts, will come together on 14 March in the House of Lords, at a Tourism Ireland / CHAMP reception to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. 

    Millions of people across Britain will be reminded about the island of Ireland on 18 March, in a special Tourism Ireland promotion for St Patrick’s Day on the hugely popular Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway on ITV. 

    And, Tourism Ireland will team up with Condé Nast Traveller to bring London foodies “A Feast from Northern Ireland” on St Patrick’s Day – with a pop-up dinner event in the hip London restaurant Carousel featuring Stephen Toman, head chef at OX Belfast, in the kitchen.
     
  • Spring advertising blitz: Tourism Ireland will roll out a two-week, cinema advertising campaign, in the run-up to St Patrick’s Day, for the first time in a number of years. Timed to coincide with awards season, the Ireland ads will run on 3,500 screens around blockbusters like Lion, Jackie, Loving and Moonlight, reaching an estimated 4 million ‘culturally curious’ holidaymakers around Britain. 
     
  • Co-operation with ‘big brands’: Tourism Ireland’s partnership programme this spring with well-known, non-travel brands includes a co-operation once again with celebrity chef Paul Rankin and Rankin Selection bread. From mid-February, a special ‘visit Northern Ireland’ message will appear on 1,000,000 packs of Rankin Selection Irish brown soda bread and Rankin Selection Irish potato slims distributed in Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose supermarkets across Britain. The on-pack promotion, which will run for ten weeks, will encourage people to come and visit Northern Ireland to experience the superb food and famous hospitality. It includes a competition to be in with a chance of winning a two-night stay in Belfast.

    Our partnership with The Daily Telegraph continues this year, with five advertorials about the island of Ireland set to reach 1.4 million readers in the Saturday travel section of the newspaper. The campaign also includes a specially-created ‘Indulge in Ireland’ hub on The Telegraph website, which includes 28 different articles, which are being promoted via online advertising. 
     
  • Co-operation with carriers, tour operators and online travel agents: Tourism Ireland is working with Flybe to highlight good value fares on flights from Southampton (to Belfast and Dublin) and from Doncaster and Exeter (to Dublin) – through radio and newspaper ads – during February and March; Flybe flights from Cardiff to Cork are being highlighted through radio, online and Facebook ads. A radio and online ad campaign in conjunction with Aer Lingus and Cork Airport will promote flights from London Heathrow to Dublin, in March; Tourism Ireland will also co-operate with Aer Lingus to promote flights from Manchester, Birmingham and London to Dublin. And a joint campaign with Expedia has been promoting the Wild Atlantic Way.

    In March, Tourism Ireland will team up with Stena Line and Capital FM radio stations (Liverpool, North West and Wales and Cymru) for a special St Patrick’s promotion. A competition will run on air over four days – promoting Dublin and Ireland and offering 18 lucky people the chance to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Dublin. On 17 March, the winning group will be interviewed live from Dublin on the various Capital radio stations – encouraging listeners at home in Britain to come and sample the great vibrancy and atmosphere of Dublin for themselves.

    Tourism Ireland will also join forces with Irish Ferries to promote Ireland’s Ancient East and the Pembroke to Rosslare ferry service. The campaign will target 11 million ‘culturally curious’ travellers through press ads in national newspapers; outdoor ads at 10 different railway stations within easy reach of Pembroke; radio ads on the popular Heart network in Wales, the Thames Valley and the West Country; online ads on popular websites sites, targeting people living in cities in South Wales and in the Home Counties of England; and Facebook ads targeting couples aged 45+ living in South Wales and southern England.
     
  • Publicity spotlight: Tourism Ireland’s publicity drive in GB continues in 2017, generating positive coverage for the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland will target national and regional print, broadcast and online media (including prominent bloggers and Instagramers) throughout Britain. About 150 of these influential contacts will be invited to visit the island of Ireland this year, to write or broadcast about it on their return home. In May, Dunmore East and Ireland will be showcased to millions of viewers across Britain, in a new BBC TV drama called Redwater. The show is a spin-off of the hugely popular Eastenders and millions of soap fans are expected to tune in for the latest storyline about Kat and Alfie Moon (played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie), which was filmed in Dunmore East and Dublin in summer 2016. Tourism Ireland will capitalise on this excellent exposure through a specially created page on its website, Ireland.com. Tourism Ireland will also highlight the fact that the drama was filmed here through its social platforms (including Facebook and Twitter), as well as through publicity – alerting prospective British visitors to the wonderful landscape they can expect to experience when they get here.
     
  • Social media promotions: Tourism Ireland has over 452,000 Facebook fans in GB (almost 3.8 million fans worldwide); and almost 72,000 followers on Twitter in GB (about 379,000 worldwide) at the last count. Promotion through social media allows Tourism Ireland to play to our strengths, demonstrating the fun and friendliness for which Ireland is renowned and helping to differentiate the island from domestic destinations within GB. 
     
  • Email marketing: Email marketing will target about 150,000 potential holidaymakers around Britain each week during 2017, featuring great offers from industry partners – highlighting both value and ease of access – and encouraging them to come and visit this year and perhaps sample some of the many events taking place right around the island. 
     
  • ‘Team Ireland’ promotions: Tourism Ireland and partners will have a presence at a number of lifestyle shows in 2017, including the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, 22-25 June.
     
  • Working with the British travel trade: Tourism Ireland will enthuse the travel trade in Britain, including tour operators and online travel agents (OTAs), so they feature more island of Ireland holidays in their programmes and so that they promote, and pass on to their customers, the special value available here. Our trade promotions programme in 2017 will include
     
    • familiarisation visits to Ireland for influential group and coach operators, to increase their knowledge and make it easier for them to promote and sell tours to the island of Ireland. While here, they will participate in workshops with island of Ireland-based industry contacts who will have an opportunity to sell their products and services direct to them. Tourism Ireland has invited about 50 online and traditional tour operators to attend the annual Meet the Buyer and Meitheal workshops, in Belfast and Dublin respectively, in March; 
    • co-operative promotions with key tour operators and online travel agents selling Ireland;
    • a monthly e-newsletter to about 1,400 travel agents and tour operators around Britain, updating them on new products and important events; and
    • our updated trade website will go live in June and will continue to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way, Causeway Coastal Route, Ireland’s Ancient East, as well as numerous events taking place this year. 
       
  • Targeting coach tour business: Industry partners from the island of Ireland are joining Tourism Ireland in Great Britain this spring, targeting decision-makers from the important coach and group travel sector. Upcoming promotions include the British Tourism and Travel Show in Birmingham (22-23 March), with 14 partners from Ireland. 
     
  • Promoting our world-class golf: Tourism Ireland will capitalise on the global success and excellent publicity surrounding our top golfers like Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and Pádraig Harrington; and will highlight this year’s Irish Open at Portstewart and the 148th Open which is set to take place at Royal Portrush in 2019. Golf promotions in 2017 in Britain will include:
    • co-operative promotions in conjunction with top golf tour operators, like Your Golf Travel, Golfbreaks and Club Choice Ireland; 
    • online ads on seven popular golf websites, from February until July, linking through to great golf information and offers on Ireland.com;
    • a Tourism Ireland stand, with industry partners, at the BMW PGA Championship at the famous Wentworth Club in Surrey, 25-28 May;
    • regular ‘Golf Ireland’ e-newsletters to our database of more than 7,000 golfers around Britain, promoting golf on the island of Ireland, golf industry offers and the Irish Open; and
    • golf journalists will be invited to visit the island of Ireland throughout 2017 – to sample our world-class golf product (e.g. Tourism Ireland will invite a group of top British golf writers, with a combined circulation of almost 5 million readers, to come and play some of Northern Ireland’s top golf courses, including Royal Portrush and Portstewart). 
North America
  • St Patrick’s 2017 promotions: Tourism Ireland will participate in, and promote the island of Ireland at, a range of St Patrick’s Day events across the United States – including parades in cities such as San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta and New York; and at civic events staged by the Irish community and city officials in key centres. 

    Tourism Ireland has invited Travelzoo’s senior editor Gabe Saglie to broadcast across the United States on 16 and 17 March – from the St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin and elsewhere around the island of Ireland. Live footage from the parade and pre-recorded segments will be made available to more than 20 TV networks across the US. Tourism Ireland will also share the Travelzoo coverage of the parade via Facebook Live, with several markets broadcasting the stream on their individual Tourism Ireland Facebook pages.

    Tourism Ireland will sponsor the NBC broadcast of the New York St Patrick’s Day parade, which will be seen by an estimated 2 million viewers.

    And in Canada, The Marilyn Denis Show (popular daytime talk show on CTV) will include a special St Patrick’s Day segment.
     
  • Spring advertising blitz: Tourism Ireland’s first national TV campaign in the United States in over seven years kicked off in mid-February, reaching an estimated 255 million potential American holidaymakers. The month-long TV campaign has been running on TV channels which resonate with our important ‘culturally curious’ audience, including the History channel, Food Network, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and BBC America.  The campaign includes Tourism Ireland’s new 30-second ad highlighting the island of Ireland.

    The TV campaign is complemented by extensive online advertising, to stimulate spring and summer travel. The online campaigns are designed to engage both our ‘culturally curious’ and ‘social energiser’ audiences; they feature extensive use of video and other customised content, to motivate and engage potential holidaymakers at the right time and in the right environment. The campaign targeting millions of people in our ‘culturally curious’ audience has been running since January on a range of sites such as NationalGeographic.com and TimeInc.com. Our second digital campaign, targeting millions of younger ‘social energiser’ holidaymakers, kicked off in mid-February and is running on travel sites like Thrillist and The Matador Network.

    An online, tactical ad campaign will run from February until May with 27 key partners – aimed at turning more ‘lookers into bookers’ via dedicated e-blasts, presenting compelling Ireland vacation offers and packages to potential travellers at key booking periods, on popular websites like TravelZoo, Shermans Travel, Dunhill Travel Deals and Travel Spike. Tourism Ireland aims to drive 1 million commercial referrals to these partners in 2017.

    In Canada, our online campaign will run from February until May, reaching our ‘culturally curious’ audience in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. 
     
  • Co-operation with airlines, tour operators and online travel agents: Campaigns with all the airlines that fly to the island of Ireland from North American gateways, and with leading tour operators, are either under way or in the pipeline. These include promotions with Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Delta, United and Ethiopian Airlines in the US; and with Air Canada, Aer Lingus and Air Transat in Canada. Tourism Ireland is also partnering with leading tour operators like Sceptre Tours, CIE Tours International, Specialized Travel Services, Great Value Vacations, Insight Vacations and Royal Irish Tours.
     
  • Publicity spotlight: Tourism Ireland’s publicity programme in the US this year will generate positive coverage for the island of Ireland worth more than €100 million in equivalent advertising value. About 200 American travel and lifestyle journalists – from broadcast, digital and print media outlets such as NBC, CNN, ABC, Forbes, Travel Channel, PBS, the Huffington Post, the LA Times, The Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun – will be invited to visit the island of Ireland this year, to write or broadcast about it on their return home. 
     
  • One of the highlights of the publicity programme in the first half of 2017 will include a 12-page feature in the March edition of Afar (travel magazine), all about the North West.

    The prestigious Travel Classics International writers’ conference will take place in Kilkenny, over four days in May. Regarded by many as the world’s foremost networking event for travel writers and editors, it’s a major coup for Irish tourism that the 2017 conference will take place here. It brings together celebrated editors from a wide range of high profile publications – including titles like Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler and Food & Wine – all of which reach hundreds of thousands of readers across North America, as well as globally.
     
  • Social media promotions: More than 1.2 million people are following Tourism Ireland on Facebook in the US and more than 105,000 in Canada to learn more about the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland also has about 65,600 Twitter followers in the US (@GotoIrelandUS) and almost 29,000 followers in Canada (@GoToIrelandCA); and is also now targeting younger travellers through Pinterest, with more than 9,500 followers on the photo-sharing site.
     
  • Email marketing: A busy programme of email marketing will reach over 170,000 potential holidaymakers around the US throughout 2017, highlighting partner offers and compelling reasons to visit, with links to the relevant pages on Ireland.com.
     
  • ‘Team Ireland’ promotions: Tourism Ireland and three partners from the Wild Atlantic Way will have a presence at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando (13-16 April). Described as the ‘ultimate fan experience’, it attracts tens of thousands of dedicated Star Wars fans from around the world, providing a superb opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight the Star Wars connection with Ireland and to promote the Wild Atlantic Way.
     
  • Working with the influential travel trade: Tourism Ireland is also targeting the influential American and Canadian travel trade, to enthuse them about all that is happening here in 2017 and then encourage their clients to put the island of Ireland on their vacation ‘wish-list’. And, our dedicated travel trade website also provides a wealth of resources for American travel agents and tour operators selling the island of Ireland, with downloadable images, brochures and links to Tourism Ireland’s monthly educational webinar series. Tourism Ireland has invited about 25 tour operators to attend the annual Meet the Buyer workshop in Belfast, in March; and about 40 tour operators to attend the Meitheal workshop in Dublin, including a number of new buyers for 2017.
     
  • Sales blitzes in Canada and the US: Tourism Ireland, together with a delegation of 15 tourism companies from the island of Ireland and Canada, will undertake a four-city sales blitz in Canada, at the end of February – meeting with travel agents, luxury tour operators and group tour planners in the cities of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto. 

    And, Tourism Ireland and partners will ‘pound the pavements’ in the US once again this year, through a series of ‘Jump into Ireland’ sales blitzes, targeting hundreds of travel agents in nine key cities. The programme will kick off at the end of February, taking in Washington DC, Atlanta and Boca Raton (Florida). Similar events will take place in Austin, Chicago and Boston, in April; and in San Diego, San Francisco and Houston, in November. The busy schedule of B2B events in each city will showcase the island of Ireland via a 60-minute TV show format, as well as networking sessions with travel and lifestyle journalists – providing an excellent opportunity for the participating tourism partners to showcase their product to the important travel decision-makers in the various cities. Tourism Ireland and partners will also participate in Global Travel Mart (GTM) in West Henderson (Nevada), in May.
     
  • Promoting our world-class golf: Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of activity under way to promote golf on the island of Ireland in the United States this year – in particular highlighting the 2017 Irish Open at Portstewart over the coming months. Building on our successful ‘Home of Champions’ campaign, our new 30-second TV ad will air on the NBC Golf Channel, and online on Golfchannel.com, around the ‘Majors’ – kicking off with the Masters at Augusta, in April. A digital campaign will run on various golf websites, driving potential golf holidaymakers to Ireland.com/golf. Our press and publicity activity will include a ‘Meet the Irish’ media event at the Masters, in April; and Tourism Ireland will invite influential American and Canadian golf writers to visit in advance of the Irish Open and following The Open at Royal Birkdale in July. And social media activity is also encouraging American golfers to come and attend the Irish Open and then stay on to play some of our great courses. 
     
  • Targeting the Scots-Irish: Promotion to the Scots-Irish and Ulster Scots will continue in the US and Canada, as part of our strategy to encourage this segment to 'come home to the land of your ancestors'. 
Mainland Europe

Almost 36 million potential German and French holidaymakers will see TV ads for the island of Ireland this spring (this includes about 16 million Germans and almost 20 million French); millions more people across Mainland Europe will see co-operative promotions with partners like Aer Lingus, Ryanair, easyJet, Transavia, KLM, SAS, WOW Air, Irish Ferries, Brittany Ferries and with online travel agents; hundreds of thousands of Europeans will encounter Ireland at top travel fairs this spring; and Tourism Ireland is actively engaging with more than 1,176,000 Facebook fans (and growing!) through six different language sites across Europe. 

A digital campaign will highlight the Causeway Coastal Route in Germany, France, Spain and Italy – in conjunction with Easyvoyage (travel website). Activity will include online ads, driving people to bespoke Causeway Coastal Route pages on each of the Easyvoyage sites in the four countries, as well as email marketing to the Easyvoyage database (approximately 2 million travellers). 

Germany
  • St Patrick’s promotions: Tourism Ireland will have a presence at St Patrick’s Day events in Munich and will co-operate with key partners like Kerrygold, Bord Bia and the Irish Pubs Association in Munich.   
     
  • Spring advertising blitz: Tourism Ireland’s TV campaign kicked off in January and will run through February, reaching more than 16 million potential German visitors with our new island of Ireland ad, as well as ads for the Wild Atlantic Way and Northern Ireland; these are airing on national and satellite channels like ARD, Sat1, RTL, VOX, Kabel 1 and RTL Nitro. An online video ad campaign is running on Facebook and on the Teads network (video advertising platform), during February and March. And, news and information about the island of Ireland – including the Wild Atlantic Way, Northern Ireland and Ireland’s Ancient East – also features on popular German websites, such as focus.de.
     
  • Co-operation with carriers, airports, tour operators and online travel agents: A busy programme of co-operative activity has included TV advertising in early 2017 in conjunction with weg.de (online travel agent), which reached about 7 million German travellers on Pro7 and Sat1; and TV ads in conjunction with Berge & Meer (tour operator) reached a further 16 million Germans. An outdoor poster campaign with Dertour ran in Munich, Nürnberg and Stuttgart in February. Print ads with Irish Ferries will highlight the Wild Atlantic Way in magazines and newspapers, from February; and an online and radio campaign with Aer Lingus will highlight good value fares to Cork and Dublin, from March. Co-operative activity with Ryanair will promote Bremen-Dublin, Berlin-Belfast, Hamburg-Dublin and Frankfurt Hahn-Kerry flights.
    Tourism Ireland will also join forces with Shannon Airport, to promote the new Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt. The campaign will reach almost 300,000 Germans – through over 200 eye-catching ‘city light’ poster ads, as well as ads on info-screens in tube stations and S-Bahn (railway) stations, around the city of Frankfurt. The campaign will also include email marketing to a database of 60,000 potential visitors, directly them to a specially created section on Ireland.com. Tourism Ireland will also highlighting the new flight from Frankfurt, and holidays along the Wild Atlantic Way, to its Facebook fans. 
     
  • Publicity spotlight: In 2017, Tourism Ireland’s publicity programme in Germany will generate positive coverage for the island of Ireland worth more than €45 million in equivalent advertising value. This year, some 180 travel and lifestyle journalists – from important print, broadcast and digital media outlets such as Süddeutsche Zeitung and WDR TV – will visit Ireland, to write or broadcast about their experience. Group media visits to Ireland will include a trip titled ‘On the routes of Heinrich Böll’ (it is 100 years sine the birth of Böll), as well as a cruising trip on the Shannon. Press events in Germany will highlight the island of Ireland in Stuttgart, Hamburg, Munich and Berlin this spring and will include Tourism Ireland’s annual ‘Best Journalist Award Ireland’, in March. Our database of 3,000 key German journalists will receive regular Ireland features, themes, imagery and partner offers through Tourism Ireland’s monthly e-mail newsletter, online media room and video news releases. 
     
  • Social media promotions: Tourism Ireland is promoting the island of Ireland to its 286,000 Facebook fans in Germany. 
     
  • Email marketing: Email marketing is targeting 57,000 potential German holidaymakers each week, with messages about the island of Ireland and good value offers.
     
  • Highlighting Northern Ireland through Game of Thrones: Tourism Ireland’s TV sponsorship ad – featuring various Northern Ireland locations – will reach over 3 million fans of Game of Thrones, when it airs around the free TV premiere of season six this spring.
     
  • Working with the German travel trade: Tourism Ireland will mount a strong presence at ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse), the largest travel trade fair in the world, which takes place 8-12 March. Tourism Ireland’s travel agent training programme, using our popular ‘Séan the sheep’ icon, continues this spring; by year end, more than 1,400 agents will have completed the training. Tourism Ireland has invited 25 German tour operators to attend the annual Meet the Buyer and Meitheal workshops, in March. And, quarterly e-newsletters sent to Tourism Ireland’s database of trade partners keeps key contacts up to date on the latest product and industry news.   
France
  • St Patrick’s promotions: Tourism Ireland will team up with influential French bloggers and social influencers just before St Patrick’s Day (on 14 March). Each week, the bloggers chat online about a different theme using #BattlePhoto and, for St Patrick’s week, their special theme is “vert comme …” (meaning “green as …”). They’ll each share five green photos from the island of Ireland with their followers – and there’s a prize on offer, as an incentive to the blogger who posts the best photo. And, “A bus named Patrick” will see French bloggers and influencers travel on a vintage bus around Paris, taking in the various sites participating in Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, engaging with their fans and followers during the journey about the island of Ireland. 
    On 15 March, Tourism Ireland’s reception in Paris to mark St Patrick’s Day will be attended by some 200 key travel trade and media contacts. And, Tourism Ireland will also have a presence at ‘Ireland Day’ in Cannes on 17 March.
    Tourism Ireland will partner with Selectour (a network of travel agents), to create a St Patrick’s-themed online competition, which will highlight a Selectour Ireland package and will link to Ireland.com.
     
  • Spring advertising blitz: Tourism Ireland’s TV advertising campaign in France kicked off on 11 February and will run for six weeks, reaching almost 20 million potential French holidaymakers on the country’s three main TV channels – TF1, France2 and France3 – as well as on a range of popular cable channels. The campaign includes Tourism Ireland’s new 30-second ad highlighting the island of Ireland, as well as ads for Northern Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way, targeting our important ‘culturally curious’ audience. The ads will run on prime time TV around the Six Nations French matches and news programmes, as well as on catch-up TV and video websites – encouraging French holidaymakers to put the island of Ireland on their holiday ‘wish-list’ for 2017. 
    An online ad campaign will run during March and April, complementing the TV campaign; this will include video ads (with our TV ads appearing on popular websites) and a tactical element, encouraging those people who’ve viewed our ads to book their holiday to Ireland this year. 
     
  • Publicity spotlight: Highlights will include a visit to Ashford Castle and Ballyfin Demesne by a journalist from Paris Match, an extremely popular magazine with about 2.4 million readers. 
     
  • Co-operation with carriers, tour operators and online travel agents: A busy programme of co-operative promotions with key partners will include a digital campaign with Aer Lingus, promoting flights from Paris to Cork during March. We will kick off a co-operative campaign with Ryanair at the end of March, to highlight flights to Dublin from Paris (Beauvais), La Rochelle and Biarritz; this will include print ads in Parisian and regional newspapers. A digital campaign with Odigeo (the largest online tour operator in France) will go live in mid-March and will run for five weeks. And, in April, a campaign with Transavia will include 340 billboard poster ads in almost 200 metro stations in Paris, online ads on popular travel websites, as well as a strong push by Transavia via its website, e-newsletter and social channels. 
     
  • Email marketing: Email marketing is targeting 280,000 potential French holidaymakers each week.
     
  • Working with the French travel trade: Fifty French travel agents, all based in and around the southern French city of Nice, attended a workshop organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Aer Lingus and Nice Airport. The aim of the event was to grow tourist numbers from southern France in 2017 and, in particular, to highlight ease of access from Nice to the island of Ireland – including Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights from Nice to Dublin and the easyJet service to Belfast. A similar workshop will take place in Lyon, at the beginning of March.
    Members of the French Marketing Partnership Group (MPG) will visit Donegal at the end of February. The MPG is made up of leading French tour operators, as well as air and sea carriers, and is the official vehicle for consulting with tourism partners in France. As well as acting as a fact-finding trip to Ireland, their visit presents an excellent opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight Donegal and the northern part of the Wild Atlantic Way to senior travel representatives from France. 
    In March, Tourism Ireland’s B2B tourism event, Irlande à Paris, will involve some 70 leading French group travel operators meeting, and doing business with, 18 tourism companies from the island of Ireland, to secure a greater share of group tour business from France.
Southern Europe
  • St Patrick’s promotions: Tourism Ireland in Spain will roll out a campaign with Spotify in the run-up to St Patrick’s Day, using the hashtag #IrlandaesMúsica (#IrelandIsMusic). It will include extensive digital activity on Spotify Spain, reaching approximately 6.5 million Spanish consumers. Users will be encouraged to create an Irish music playlist and will also have the opportunity to win tickets to an exclusive concert in the Spotify office in Madrid on 15 March, starring well-known Spanish band Celtas Corto. The intimate concert will also be streamed live on the Spotify homepage. Tourism Ireland will invite Spanish bloggers and key influencers to attend the concert, in turn leveraging their wide social media network. 
    In Italy, Friday the 17th (and not the 13th) is considered a day of bad luck, so this St Patrick’s Day (which happens to be Friday 17th!), Tourism Ireland will send a special ‘St Patrick’s kit’ to 40 top influencers, including radio DJs and bloggers, with the message that St Patrick and his shamrock will bring them luck – encouraging them to share great stories about the island of Ireland with their listeners, followers and social communities on our national day.
     
  • Capitalising on Six Nations rugby in Italy: Tourism Ireland invited key Italian travel trade and media contacts to attend a joint agency networking event in Rome, on the eve of the Ireland v Italy Six Nations match (11 February). 
     
  • Publicity spotlight: Our marketing plans and key themes for 2017 were outlined to 50 influential journalists at a Tourism Ireland press conference in Milan (16 February). Publicity highlights in Spain will include a popular TV travel show, Madrileños por el Mundo, which will film in Galway at Eastertime; the programme will then air on Telemadrid (the public TV station of Madrid and the fifth national station) in early May.
     
  • Co-operation with carriers, tour operators and online travel agents: Co-operative activity in Italy will include a two-week metro campaign with Aer Lingus, from 7 March – with billboard ads highlighting Ireland in the metro stations of Milan, reaching an estimated 680,000 commuters i.e. 39% of the population of Milan city and province. The poster ad will show a stunning image of the Great Blasket Island and feature an attractive airfare to Dublin – reminding Italians why they should put Ireland on their holiday wish-list for 2017. As well as the metro ads, the campaign will also highlight holidays in Ireland online, including on Facebook. A separate campaign with Boscolo Tours, one of Italy’s leading tour operators), will reach almost 19 million Italians. This will be a ‘moving TV’ campaign, with a Wild Atlantic Way video playing on more than 3,400 screens in 72 metro stations and on board 69 metro trains in the cities of Milan, Rome and Brescia; the video will also be played on almost 300 screens in 13 different airports around Italy. A campaign with Logitravel, one of Italy’s leading online travel agents, will include trams in Milan ‘wrapped’ in Ireland ads during April and May, reaching an estimated 5.2 million commuters; online ads on popular websites during May and June (and again in September); a video campaign on YouTube and Facebook, which will go live in June, as well as ads on Facebook – reaching millions of potential holidaymakers; Ireland ads on the website of Logitravel, driving prospective visitors to a special Ireland microsite; and e-mail marketing to the Logitravel database of 1.5 million travellers.
    In Spain, Tourism Ireland will roll out a campaign with Iberia Express and Cork Airport, which will include ads in metro stations around Madrid (reaching more than 1 million commuters), eye-catching images of Cork on 20,000 boarding cards, ads on a popular radio station called Cadena 40 Principales (almost 3 million listeners per day), as well as digital promotions targeting over 6 million Spaniards through ads on the home page of IberiaExpress.com, a dedicated Ireland section on IberiaExpress.com, ads on other popular websites as well as email marketing. Tourism Ireland in Spain will also partner with Aer Lingus and Cork Airport in May, to highlight flights from Barcelona. Our campaign will include digital billboards in high footfall areas of Barcelona, which will reach more than 1 million people; as well as online and social media promotions. A separate campaign with Destinia.com (online travel agent) will highlight a seven-night stay in Ireland via online advertising, as well as ads on buses in Madrid and Barcelona. 
     
  • Working with the travel trade: Tourism Ireland has invited one of Italy’s leading tour operators, Cocktail Viaggi, and its top-producing travel agents, to visit Ireland’s Ancient East, in March; and another leading tour operator, Francrorosso, will visit the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East, in April and May.
Northern Europe
  • Publicity spotlight in the Netherlands: Filming for a popular Dutch travel TV show, called We zijn er Bijna (which means “We’re almost there”) will take place over five weeks, from the beginning of June. It will feature 50 Dutch people travelling around the island of Ireland with their mobile homes. It will air on one of the main Dutch TV channels over six weeks from the end of July, to an estimated 2 million viewers. A group of Scandinavian travel writers will visit the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East in April. 
     
  • Co-operation with carriers, tour operators and online travel agents: An extensive online campaign with Aer Lingus, promoting travel from Amsterdam to Cork, will run on popular websites, radio stations and on social media in the Netherlands. This will be followed, in late April, by an online campaign promoting Dublin to Amsterdam flights. An online campaign with Ryanair, promoting travel from Amsterdam to Dublin, will kick off at the start of April. Other co-operative activity includes an online campaign with Ryanair in April, promoting flights from the Netherlands and Belgium to Dublin; and campaigns with tour operators like Kras and Buro Scanbrit. In the Nordic Region, online campaigns with Thomas Cook and Stena Line Travel Group will go live in April.
     
  • Working with the Nordic travel trade: The island of Ireland was showcased to 40 leading tour operators from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland – during Tourism Ireland’s 2017 Nordic trade workshop, which took place in early February in Stockholm. Eighteen (18) Irish tourism companies took part in the workshop, meeting and doing business with the Nordic tour operators, to encourage them to extend their Ireland offering, or to include Ireland for the first time, in their brochures and programmes. A key message highlighted to the tour operators was ease of access from the Nordic Region to Ireland, including the new SAS Stockholm to Shannon which will operate twice weekly, from August until mid-October 2017, providing a very welcome boost for tourism from Sweden to the West of Ireland. A separate event in Stockholm – called ‘Experience the Wild Atlantic Way’ – was organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Bord Bia and was attended by leading Swedish food and travel journalists. 
Central Europe
  • Promoting Northern Ireland’s world-class road racing: In February, Tourism Ireland had a presence at Swiss-Moto Zurich, Switzerland’s premier motorcycling show. With about 70,000 people visiting Swiss-Moto Zurich each year, it was an ideal platform to highlight Northern Ireland as a great destination for motorcycling enthusiasts. A highlight of the show was a special ‘Irish road racing’ exhibition – which celebrated the most famous family in road racing, Northern Ireland’s legendary Dunlop family. The exhibition was organised by Austrian road racer Horst Saiger, who regularly attends the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix. 
Australia and Developing Markets
  • St Patrick’s promotions: Tourism Ireland in Australia will host a special St Patrick’s event in Sydney on 15 March, with singer-songwriter Mundy set to perform for guests. The event, which will take place in 34bia, a newly opened Irish restaurant, will be attended by key Australian travel trade, media and airline contacts. And, in New Zealand, Tourism Ireland will host a St Patrick’s event for travel trade and media contacts in Auckland, on 10 March. 

    In India, Tourism Ireland will team up with The Times of India and the Irish House restaurant chain, for a special St Patrick’s event in Mumbai. 
     
  • Spring advertising blitz: Phase two of Tourism Ireland’s ‘early bird’ campaign in Australia will kick off at the end of February and run until mid-April. The campaign will target ‘culturally curious’ Australian travellers, through social media advertising and email marketing. It will build on the momentum of phase one of the campaign (rolled out in Q4 2016), when Tourism Ireland’s message was all about keeping the island of Ireland ‘front of mind’ for Australians considering a trip to Europe in 2017. Phase two is more focused on encouraging people to begin planning their Ireland itinerary; it includes ads for the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East, as well as a video highlighting the Causeway Coastal Route; it aims to convince those people to move from considering to actually booking their trip to Ireland.

    A competition with CIE Tours International and Qatar Airways to win a trip for two to Ireland will coincide with Tourism Ireland’s ‘early bird’ campaign – highlighting the island of Ireland via email marketing to 150,000 Australians and via a print ad in Traveller to its 770,000 readers. The competition will also be promoted by Tourism Ireland via its social channels and email marketing.

    Tourism Ireland in Australia will also partner with AWOL, a mobile-first, digital travel platform for millennials, to promote the island of Ireland as a fun, contemporary destination. 

    A digital campaign leveraging the massive popularity of Game of Thrones and highlighting Northern Ireland will go live in the UAE in April; this will include promotions via social media, email marketing and online ads.
     
  • Co-operation with carriers, tour operators and online travel agents: In advance of the launch of the Qatar Airways flight between Doha and Dublin on 12 June, a programme of co-operative advertising will be rolled out in Australia, China, India and the UAE. This will include print, outdoor and digital ads highlighting the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, the Causeway Coast and Dublin.  

    In Australia, Tourism Ireland is working with key partners – including Helloworld, Tempo Holidays and Colette Vacations – to highlight good value offers for travel to Ireland, through print, radio and online channels. And in New Zealand, Tourism Ireland is working with House of Travel, highlighting flights to Ireland with Emirates. 

    Co-operative promotions with KLM in Chengdu, in eastern China, will promote flights from Chengdu to London for UK and Ireland tours.

    In India, Tourism Ireland will undertake co-operative campaigns in conjunction with Thomas Cook, Cox & Kings, Cosmos Globus and Flight Shop, during March and April – via TV, radio and online advertising.
     
  • Publicity spotlight: In 2017, Tourism Ireland’s publicity programme in Australia will generate positive coverage for the island of Ireland worth more than €5.5 million in equivalent advertising value. One of the highlights of the publicity programme in Australia this year will include five Ireland episodes of the popular lifestyle TV programme The Living Room, which will air to an estimated 800,000 viewers. Two of the episodes will air in March, with the show’s host Chris Brown (of Bondi Vet fame) exploring Dublin by day and by night. A further two episodes will showcase the West of Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way (in June and September); and Northern Ireland and its Game of Thrones connections will feature in an episode of The Living Room in late October. 
    And, some 4 million Australians will be reading all about Ireland’s Ancient East in Fairfax Media’s Traveller (print and online versions) this spring, in an article titled “Magnificent Megaliths – Why Ireland Rocks”.
    Ten influential travel and lifestyle journalists from Australia, China, the UAE and Qatar will fly to Ireland on the new Qatar Airways service and will spend six days exploring the island of Ireland.
    Tourism Ireland has invited the associate editor of The Times of India (7 million readers) to visit the island of Ireland in March; her itinerary will include a Game of Thrones experience in Northern Ireland. 
     
  • Social media promotions: Tourism Ireland has over 51,000 Facebook fans in Australia; and more than 12,000 Australian followers on Twitter
     
  • Email marketing: Regular email marketing will target about 50,000 potential Australian holidaymakers during 2017, highlighting great reasons to come and visit (including two St Patrick’s Day e-newsletters in the run-up to 17 March). 
     
  • China sales mission: Tourism Ireland’s 2017 sales mission to China will take place 24-28 April. A delegation of 17 tourism enterprises from the island of Ireland will take part in the targeted travel trade mission – in a bid to increase our share of this rapidly-growing tourism market. 
     
  • Working with the travel trade: More than 300 top international buyers from 40 different countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, Brazil and Russia, will hear all about the island of Ireland at ExploreGB 2017, VisitBritain’s flagship international event which takes place on 2-3 March, in Brighton. Tourism Ireland – together with 13 partners – will take part in the two-day workshop, which involves a series of pre-scheduled, one-to-one appointments – showcasing Britain and the island of Ireland to a large audience of international buyers and helping to deliver additional itineraries and brochure pages featuring both destinations. 
    In Australia, Tourism Ireland has been targeting the influential travel trade through advertising in Traveltalk magazine (in January) and through an Ireland article on the KarryOn travel industry website (in February). The campaign with both Traveltalk and KarryOn will continue through the first half of 2017, via email marketing and social activity.
    Tourism Ireland will attend Arabian Travel Market, the main travel trade event in the UAE, which takes place in Dubai at the end of April.
    And, for the first time, a group of travel agents from Hong Kong will visit the island of Ireland – taking in Northern Ireland, the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. 

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