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21 Aug 2013

Tourism Ireland website gets ‘thumbs up’ from The Sunday Times

Ireland.com listed as one of the ‘coolest tourist board websites’

Tourism Ireland’s international website – Ireland.com – has been listed as one of the top ten “coolest tourist board websites” by The Sunday Times in Great Britain.

Tourism Ireland launched Ireland.com at the beginning of this year and since then, it has been rolled out in markets around the world. The suite of international websites attracted almost nine million visits for the period January to July 2013, an increase of +24% over the same period in 2012. The site has been completely redeveloped to deliver a transformed web experience for potential holidaymakers. One of the new, key features is that social media connections and sharing tools are embedded on every page, encouraging users to ‘like’ and share with all of their friends. Tourism Ireland is now the second most popular tourism board in the world on Facebook (after Australia), with over 1.6 million fans.

And the Ireland.com site is in good company in The Sunday Times listing – which also includes the websites for New York, Australia and India. Journalist Katie Leahy tells the reader to “expect inspiring video and free apps from the new generation of destination sites”. Describing Ireland.com, she says: “there are also links to special offers from hotels and tour operators, a flight and ferry-finder function that takes the strain out of crossing the Irish Sea, and, coming soon, a scrapbook function allowing you to store ideas on your own page.”

Welcoming the news, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland’s job is to inspire people around the world to come and visit the island of Ireland and our online presence is critical in communicating with potential holidaymakers everywhere – so we are really pleased that Ireland.com has been recognised by such an influential newspaper. We have been working hard throughout the year, to ensure a hugely enhanced experience for visitors to Ireland.com. The site is much more visual, with stunning images and less crowded pages; special offers and packages feature throughout the site; and social media connections and sharing tools are a key feature.

“The Sunday Times has an audience of about 2.5 million readers – so, it’s a fantastic platform to highlight our site, and holidays to Ireland, among prospective visitors right across Britain. Great Britain is the largest source of overseas visitors to the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland has an extensive promotional programme under way throughout 2013. We are rolling out our ‘GB Path to Growth’ strategy, which aims to return this all-important market to sustained growth. We are targeting new groups that are receptive to the type of experience Ireland can offer.”