Tourism Ireland has announced a new strategy to attract more high-spending visitors from the emerging tourism markets of Brazil and Russia. The organisation will target potential holidaymakers in these markets by working closely with airlines and tour operators to increase exposure and demand for holidays to the island of Ireland.
The decision follows Tourism Ireland’s review of potential new markets and has also been influenced by the Government’s introduction last year of the visa waiver scheme, which makes it easier for visitors from these countries to come to Ireland on holidays. Tourism Ireland already markets Ireland actively in both India and China.
The UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) reports that outbound tourism from Brazil and Russia grew steadily in recent years and that in 2011 spending by visitors from Brazil and Russia grew globally by +32% and +21% respectively.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar welcomed the new strategy: “This new focus on Brazil and Russia reflects the Government’s commitment to develop these rapidly-growing, emerging markets. India, China and Russia all benefit from the Government’s visa waiver scheme, while Brazilian tourists don’t need visas to visit Ireland at all. I would encourage the tourism industry to respond to this strategy, by finding new ways to engage visitors from these countries with attractive and good value tourism products.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The majority of our overseas visitors come from the core markets of Great Britain, North America and Mainland Europe, and while this will continue, it is important that we expand our focus beyond these markets and look to the long-term opportunities presented by the BRIC countries. Nurturing these markets and adapting to the diverse needs of their travellers is essential. Since the visa waiver scheme was introduced here by the Government last year, there has been a noted increase in demand from tour operators for visas for Ireland and a number of tour operators in China, India and the GCC are programming Ireland for the first time in 2012, on the back of the new arrangements. We believe the BRIC economies will play an increasing role in the future of the travel and tourism industry generally and will play a greater part in helping us to grow tourism from overseas in 2012 and beyond.”
Tourism Ireland’s programme of promotional activity in China and India this year involves co-operative campaigns with airlines and influential tour operators, to ensure Ireland features prominently in itineraries and travel brochures; hosting familiarisation visits for travel agents and tour operators around the island of Ireland; as well as working closely with travel and lifestyle journalists, to ensure the island of Ireland features extensively in the media in those countries. Tourism Ireland has offices in China (Shanghai and Beijing) and India (in Mumbai and Delhi).
Notes To Editors
- China: China’s flourishing economy is boosting outbound travel significantly and it is projected that by 2020 there will be about 100 million Chinese tourists. Spend by Chinese travellers has risen four-fold in the past decade, making them the fourth-biggest spending tourists in the world and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has indicated that travel expenditure globally by the Chinese was almost US$55 billion in 2010. With 2 million Chinese people visiting Europe each year, this is a significant emerging market and an important one for the island of Ireland to tap into. It is estimated that approximately 10,000 Chinese visitors come to Ireland each year. However, Tourism Ireland believes that this market has the potential to grow considerably, especially given China’s strong economy and growing population, which includes an estimated 535,000 ‘high net worth’ individuals.
- India: with a booming economy and an expanding middle class (India currently adds 40 million people to its middle class each year), India is another market of potential. Latest estimates suggest that at least 9 million foreign trips are taken by Indians each year, with about 400,000 visiting the UK. About 15,000 Indians visit Ireland each year. This year, Tourism Ireland in India will capitalise on the tourism potential of a new Bollywood blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger (meaning ‘Once There Was A Tiger’) shot in Dublin last September, which will be released this summer. Bollywood is deep-rooted in the psyche of most Indians and the films have a considerable influence on Indian travellers when they are deciding on their holiday destination. Tourism Ireland is confident that the footage shot in Dublin will help whet appetites and create a curiosity among Indians to come and visit the places where the colourful film was shot.
- Russia: the Russian economy is growing fast and travel is showing similar growth, with over 24 million people travelling outside of Russia each year. Research shows that some of the main motivators for Russians when choosing a holiday destination include ‘natural scenic beauty’ and ‘history and culture’, two areas for which the island of Ireland is renowned. Tourism Ireland research has shown that the Russian market has limited understanding of what the island of Ireland has to offer as a holiday destination; so, a key objective for 2012 is to begin building awareness in Russia of the many things to see and do on a holiday here.
- Brazil: Brazil has a young and rapidly expanding population, with the emerging middle class now able to travel overseas for the first time, thanks to a strong currency and easier access to credit. The number of Brazilians travelling abroad is in excess of about six million per year (about 177,000 to the UK).