Tourism Ireland is pleased to announce the acquisition of the domain name Ireland.com from The Irish Times. Given the ease of recognition and memorability of Ireland.com, the new domain name will deliver greater ‘stand-out’ for the destination around the world, with significant long-term benefits for tourism to the island of Ireland. The move is part of a re-development of Tourism Ireland’s suite of websites designed to capitalise on the growing importance of the internet in travel and holiday planning and to harness the phenomenal growth in social media.
Tourism Ireland’s new website will be unveiled to tourism industry leaders at the launch of the organisation’s 2013 marketing plans towards the end of the year and will roll out across top tourism markets from 1 January 2013. The new website will support 11 different languages and over 30 individual markets.
Tourism Ireland sites attracted almost 12 million unique visitors from overseas in 2011. Given the huge part that the internet now plays in peoples’ research, planning and booking of holidays – according to the 2011 Visitor Attitude Survey, 73% of overseas holidaymakers said the internet was an important information source when planning their holiday here – the sites are a vital platform for Tourism Ireland to communicate with customers around the globe, showcasing the superb tourism product on offer and the many things to see and do around the island of Ireland.
Speaking about the agreement, Liam Kavanagh, managing director of The Irish Times, said: “We are very pleased that the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas will have the opportunity to leverage the brand and URL that is Ireland.com. From an Irish Times perspective, we will now focus on the continued development of irishtimes.com and to position it at home and internationally as Ireland's leading quality news and information website.”
Commenting on the move, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The domain name Ireland.com is a natural fit for the work we do to promote the island of Ireland overseas and we are very pleased to be acquiring it from The Irish Times. There are obvious benefits for tourism, including ease of recognition and sheer memorability which will allow us to achieve greater ‘stand-out’ in the markets and will bring increased efficiencies in terms of promotion and search engine optimisation. The acquisition is timely as we look forward to launching our new website towards the end of the year. Tourism Ireland’s Facebook audience is the third largest in the world for tourism bodies (after Australia and Spain) and our new site and new url will help us to harness more effectively the phenomenal growth in social media and to project an even stronger online presence to attract more visitors here.”