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10 Apr 2015

4+ million people in the Netherlands watch reality show couple on ‘dream date’ in Dublin

More than four million TV viewers across the Netherlands tuned in to Dublin recently – when the city featured on one of the country’s most popular reality TV shows, called Boer Zoekt Vrouw (meaning ‘Farmer seeks a wife’).

The long-running dating programme for farmers in search of a wife is hugely popular in the Netherlands. It attracts more than four million viewers per episode – with many more fans chatting online about the show. Tourism Ireland in Amsterdam secured the popular show for Dublin, supported by an excellent itinerary designed by Fáilte Ireland.

The reality show tracks the lives of single farmers meeting a number of potential partners and then bringing their ‘favourite’ on a dream date to a foreign location – in this case Dublin. The episode was filmed here last November and featured the couple enjoying a romantic break at Clontarf Castle Hotel, visiting Howth village and Howth Summit, and walking around Dublin city centre.

With huge exposure for Dublin and Ireland on the night of the broadcast, stimulating plenty of lively, online conversation among Dutch viewers, Tourism Ireland in Amsterdam decided to maximise that online engagement with potential holidaymakers – and ran a competition to win a romantic weekend break in Dublin, directly people to a specially created page on its website, Ireland.com. Other activity to maximise the benefits of the TV show included email marketing to the Tourism Ireland database; online advertising; as well as social media – including Facebook (120,000 Dutch fans) and Twitter (2,700+ followers).

Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s manager for the Netherlands, said: “This was a fun and different way to showcase Dublin and some of the many things to see and do around the city to a huge audience of four million people in the Netherlands. Boer Zoekt Vrouw is really popular here in the Netherlands, so we are delighted that the show’s producers chose Dublin as a ‘dream date’ location. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers for prospective holidaymakers and Tourism Ireland regularly works with overseas TV and production companies to facilitate the making of travel and lifestyle programmes in Ireland. The publicity value of a TV show like this is incalculable – it is a great way of promoting Dublin and Ireland to a wide audience.

“The Netherlands is an important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2015 has got off to a positive start, with the most recent CSO figures showing growth of +20% in visitors from the Benelux countries for the December 2014 to February 2015 period. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that tourism growth continues and we have an extensive programme of promotions under way in the Netherlands throughout 2015.”

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
  • In 2014, we welcomed an estimated 8.6 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.26 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.Ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, Ireland.com attracted about 14.25 million visitors.