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24 Sep 2012

Festival focus for Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign (NI version)

£16.5 million promotional blitz targets potential holidaymakers around the globe

Tourism Ireland has launched a £16.5 million promotional campaign, aimed at boosting late-season travel to Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland from around the globe this autumn and teeing up major events in 2013 including the exciting programme for Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture. The period September to December traditionally yields as much as 30% of overseas tourism business.

Kicking off Tourism Ireland’s autumn promotions in GB, legendary DJ and former Top of the Pops presenter Simon Bates flew to Belfast, to host his popular radio show from outside Titanic Belfast. This is part of a month-long promotion of our music, festivals and culture which will reach about 2.7 million people in GB on popular stations Smooth and Real Radio. And also in GB, our largest and most important tourism market, Tourism Ireland’s TV ads will be seen by a massive 19 million potential holidaymakers this autumn – conveying the fun, friendliness and great things to do and see on a holiday or short break here.

Tourism Ireland’s campaign will highlight the many festivals and events taking place this autumn – from the Belfast Festival at Queens (which this year celebrates the important milestone of its 50th anniversary), to the Aspects Irish Literature Festival in Bangor, the Fermanagh Live Festival and the Banks of the Foyle Hallowe’en Carnival in Londonderry. The campaign – which is being rolled out in Great Britain, the United States, Mainland Europe, Australia and emerging markets – will incorporate a major focus on city breaks as well as on attracting visitors to more rural parts of Northern Ireland over the coming months. Highlights of the activity include TV, radio, print and online advertising; extensive PR and social media activity; as well as co-operative promotions with carriers like Jet2, easyJet and Aer Lingus.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “ni2012 has provided an unprecedented opportunity to make Northern Ireland shine on the global stage. Tourism Ireland’s promotions around the world continue to capitalise on this opportunity, highlighting the strengths of Northern Ireland – iconic experiences, our warm, friendly people, great value for money and world-class reasons to visit like Titanic Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre. Our autumn campaign aims to take advantage of late booking trends in our target markets, as there is still everything to play for, for the remainder of 2012. Many people are opting for shorter holiday breaks and autumn is a good opportunity with great festivals and events happening here. In association with our tourism partners, we have enticing autumn/winter packages to offer, developed around festivals and themes such as food, music, literature and the arts.

“We are also now preparing for next year and the exciting programme for Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture, as well as other great events like the World Police & Fire Games. These events, together with the warm welcome for which Northern Ireland is renowned, are providing us with wonderful opportunities to showcase Northern Ireland around the world.”


Notes To Editors

Highlights of Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign around the globe include:

Van Morrison promotion targets music fans: Tourism Ireland has teamed up with Van Morrison and EMI for its latest promotion to showcase the fantastic music and arts scene of Belfast and Northern Ireland and to highlight this year’s Belfast Festival at Queens (celebrating the important milestone of its 50th anniversary this year), to potential holidaymakers around the globe. The promotion will target music fans in key tourism markets this autumn – including Great Britain, the United States, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Spain.

Great Britain

  • Attractive city break packages are a key element of the autumn campaign in GB and a programme is also in place to attract car touring visitors.
  • TV: Tourism Ireland’s autumn TV ad campaign is now under way and will run until the end of October, reaching up to 19 million potential GB holidaymakers. The ads are running on channels like ITV 1, 2 and 3, Channel 4 and a range of satellite channels.
  • Radio: 2.7 million radio listeners around Britain will tune in to a month-long promotion of the festivals, music and culture of Belfast and Dublin, on popular stations Smooth and Real Radio. DJ Simon Bates kicked off this promotion when he hosted his show from Belfast – with an outside broadcast from Titanic Belfast. Radiotorials (radio interviews) with Éamonn Holmes will highlight the new visitor centre at the Giant’s Causeway and all the many things to see and do around the Causeway Coast.
  • Print and Email: In October, news about Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture will reach the 300,000+ subscribers to Tourism Ireland’s database. And towards the end of this year, features will also appear in top national newspapers, teeing up Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture.
  • Cinema: images of Northern Ireland will also be seen by about 1.25 million cinema-goers around GB this September, when a special 60-second ad is screened around big blockbuster films like Anna Karenina and The Sweeney.
  • Co-operation with carriers: a busy programme of co-operative campaigns with carriers – including Jet2, easyJet and Aer Lingus – is planned for this autumn, highlighting ease of access and great fares.
  • Promoting to the influential travel trade: influential GB coach and group tour operators were invited by Tourism Ireland to a workshops in Belfast, where they met with representatives of the tourism industry from around Northern Ireland to negotiate for their 2013 programmes.
  • Shopping centre blitzes: tourism partners from Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland will join Tourism Ireland in Manchester, in the busy Trafford shopping centre, and in Bristol, in the Cabot Circus shopping centre – highlighting great value breaks and holidays to shoppers.
  • The Goodwood Revival: for the first time ever, Tourism Ireland had a presence at The Goodwood Revival in Chichester this autumn. This is one of the largest vintage car festival events in Great Britain, attracting about 150,000 visitors, and offers a fantastic platform to spread the good news about car touring here.
  • World Travel Market: Tourism Ireland will mount a significant presence at this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) in London, in November, with a special focus on Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013. This year, about 60 tourism enterprises from Northern Ireland and around the island, will join Tourism Ireland at WTM, the largest B2B event in the global tourism calendar. 
North America
  • Magazines and online: 4 million Americans will see full-page ads and full-page features in travel, thought leader and epicurean magazines, including The New Yorker, Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit and AFAR. Millions more will see Tourism Ireland’s internet TV campaign – with TV ads and video footage running on premium digital channels such as FOX, MSN, NBC, Bravo and History Channel, as well as on various travel and cooking channels. Special offers will also appear on high profile sites such as Travelzoo, Sherman’s Travel, Fodors and New York Times Getaways, reminding potential holidaymakers about the great value airfares and vacation packages available.
  • Publicity spotlight: Influential travel and lifestyle journalists will be invited to visit Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland this autumn. One of the highlights will be Rudy Maxa’s World radio show (Rudy is one of America’s most popular travel experts), which will broadcast live from here on over 150 stations across the US.
Mainland Europe
  • City breaks in Belfast will be promoted on key travel and lifestyle websites in France, targeting an urban, young (aged 25-45 years) audience. Tourism Ireland will also promote great hotel offers through other top French online travel agents, like VoyagePrivé.com (5 million subscribers) and ClubPrivé (almost 700,000 subscribers).
  • Top travel and lifestyle media from around Europe will be invited to visit Northern Ireland this autumn.
  • In Germany, our angling will be promoted to about 500,000 readers of specialist fishing magazine Blinker; and online, on the popular fishing website
  • Fifteen tourism partners travelled to Scandinavia, to participate in Tourism Ireland’s three-day sales blitz, meeting and doing business with hundreds of influential travel trade and media contacts in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.
  • In Italy and Spain, Tourism Ireland will target the EFL (learning English as a Foreign Language) sector through email and SMS text marketing, as well as social media activity.
Australia and Developing Markets
  • Ten tourism partners from around the island of Ireland will join Tourism Ireland for a ten-day sales mission to Australia and New Zealand this November.
  • Tourism Ireland and partners will also undertake a sales mission to China this autumn, meeting with about 60 top travel agents and tour operators, as well as with key travel and lifestyle journalists, in Beijing and Shanghai, through a series of workshops, presentations and networking events.