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11 Apr 2014

Minister Michael Ring and Alastair Ross MLA join Tourism Ireland in Milan to promote the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia

Minister Ring lends a hand to boost tourism from Italy

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, travelled to Milan, to join Tourism Ireland in promoting Ireland and the Grande Partenza or ‘Big Start’ of the Giro d’Italia, which takes place here next month. He was joined by Alastair Ross MLA, Assembly Secretary at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland.  

Minister Ring and Alastair Ross hosted a business networking lunch in central Milan – where they met with, and addressed, 40 key Italian travel trade, airline and media contacts, as well as representatives of RCS Sport (organiser of the Giro d’Italia). As well as highlighting the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia, they also took the opportunity to promote some of the many other reasons for Italian holidaymakers to choose the island of Ireland – including our magnificent scenery, rich culture and world-class golf.

During the visit, Minister Ring and Alastair Ross had meetings with journalists from Corriere della Sera (daily newspaper) and La Gazetta dello Sport (daily sports newspaper) in their offices in Milan. They also met with senior executives from Tourism Ireland; they were briefed on the organisation’s extensive promotional programme, which is in full swing right now and aims to grow Italian visitors to the island of Ireland in 2014.

Finola O’Mahony, Tourism Ireland’s head of Europe, said: “2014 represents an unprecedented opportunity to promote the island of Ireland to millions of cycling enthusiasts, people who enjoy the great outdoors, as well as general holidaymakers – as the island of Ireland gears up for the ‘Big Start’ or Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia 2014. We are delighted that Minister Ring and Alastair Ross took the time to join us in Milan, to help us deliver the message about the many great reasons to visit the island of Ireland this year and, in particular, the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia.”
The Giro d’Italia, second only to the Tour de France in terms of prestige, will help raise the profile of the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland has been promoting the event in tourism markets across the world, since it was announced, to leverage the tourism potential of this event for the island of Ireland. Based on previous experience, the Giro d’Italia 2014 is set to attract massive international media coverage. According to the organisers, last year’s Giro was broadcast in 165 countries, reaching 125 million households and a global audience of approximately 775 million people (Italian TV audiences alone average about 1.89 million daily). 

Notes To Editors

Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity to leverage the tourism potential of the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia 2014

‘Giro’ promotions are a major focus for Tourism Ireland in nine markets – including in Italy, the home of the famous race, as well as in Great Britain, Germany, France, Span, the Netherlands, the Nordic region and Australia.

Tourism Ireland’s strategy is to maximise exposure for the island of Ireland before, during and after the race. 

An extensive programme of activity includes advertising (on and offline), publicity and public relations, e-marketing, social media, as well as consumer and trade promotions.

  • Top trade and consumer promotions: The Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia is being highlighted by Tourism Ireland at all consumer, trade and media events this spring – including at a special launch in advance of a Racing Metro rugby game in Paris; Vakantiebeurs (the largest travel fair in the Netherlands); ITB Berlin (the largest travel trade fair in the world); CMT in Stuttgart (largest consumer holiday fair in Germany); the Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show, in London; Best of Britain and Ireland, in Birmingham; MAP (le Monde à Paris); and at Tourism Ireland’s ‘Jump in to Ireland’ events in major cities across the US. 
  • Advertising – Video-on-demand TV: Tourism Ireland’s new ‘Giro’ television ad is airing on various on-demand television sites in GB this spring, including Channel 4 On Demand.
  • Advertising – print and online: Tourism Ireland’s print and online ads have appeared in specialist cycling publications and websites in Britain, Italy, the US and Australia e.g. for example, in publications such as Bici Sport and Cicloturismo in Italy and in RIDE Cycling Review in Australia, etc. 
  • Publicity: a targeted publicity programme has included briefing almost 1,000 international journalists on the ‘Big Start’ in Ireland – including 800 Italian and international sports and lifestyle journalists, at the official launch last year of the 2014 Giro route. Updates and interesting facts and story ideas will continue to be provided as ‘new news’ becomes available. 
  • Media visits: Tourism Ireland has also invited about 100 influential specialist cycling, and other lifestyle, journalists to visit Ireland. These have included journalists from publications like Finnish magazine Pyöräily+Triathlon (which means ‘Cycling+Triathlon’); GB magazines Cycling Weekly and Cycle Sport; Radwelt, the official magazine of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club (which means General German Bicycle Club); Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz, a popular regional newspaper in Germany; Politiken Sport, the sports section of Denmark’s largest daily newspaper; Cyclelive, a specialist cycling publication in Belgium; and Wieler Revue, cycling publication in the Netherlands. The resulting articles and broadcasts will focus not just on the Giro as a prestigious event happening here, but also on cycling as a reason to visit the island of Ireland on holiday.To date, Tourism Ireland has generated coverage around the world about the Grande Partenza on the island of Ireland worth about €1.7 million in EAV (equivalent advertising value i.e. if were to buy that space or airtime). 
  • Promotional partnerships: Tourism Ireland has organised a series of promotions and competitions with high profile partners in several markets e.g. Bike Radar and Foxtel in Australia.
  • Social media: In addition, Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of social media activity in place, targeting its 2+ million Facebook fans worldwide and 110,000+ followers on Twitter.  
  • Email marketing: Tourism Ireland’s email marketing about the Giro also has a reach of some 2 million potential visitors worldwide. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s suite of websites,, which attracted over 13 million unique visits in 2013, features information on the Giro and the Grande Partenza. The site hosts a range of articles on the Giro itself, on Ireland’s great cycling routes and events, as well as special offers including special guided cycling tours in Ireland. New multi-media Grande Partenza pages (which go live next week) will incorporate video footage, imagery, itineraries and practical information on the Giro. These pages will support the Giro legacy after the event, promoting great road trips and cycling holidays around the island of Ireland.