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13 May 2015

Ireland is ranked number 5 in the world for tourism marketing and branding

World Economic Forum’s 2015 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index reveals league of tourist-friendly countries, with positive rankings for Ireland

The World Economic Forum has announced the results of its 2015 global ‘Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index’ (TTCI). The biennial report includes some positive rankings for Ireland.

Overall, Ireland ranks at number 19 in the world, out of 141 countries. In the ‘effectiveness of marketing and branding to attract tourists’ category, Ireland has moved from number nine (when the index was last compiled in 2013) to number five in the world – ahead of France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Ranking the performance of 141 countries across 14 different categories, the report measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector in a country. To view the rankings, click here.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “I am really pleased to see that Ireland has moved to fifth position in the world for tourism marketing and branding, out of 141 countries across the world. The international tourism marketplace is an extremely competitive one and we are constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways of reaching potential holidaymakers, to help the island of Ireland to stand out from other destinations. Ireland’s improved ranking for sustainability of tourism development and quality of natural environment also augurs well for the future of our tourism industry.”

Tourism Ireland has developed a significant digital footprint in recent years – particularly in social media. The organisation has almost 3 million Facebook fans and is now the third most popular tourism board in the world on the popular social networking site (after Australia and the United States); and is the number two tourism board in the world on both Twitter and YouTube. In 2014, Tourism Ireland’s international website,, attracted 14.25 million visitors, including some 39% from mobile devices. During the year, the site scooped three awards at the W³ Awards in New York, which recognise creative excellence on the web. Tourism Ireland also won four awards at the prestigious CLIO Awards in New York, for its global advertising campaign to promote the Wild Atlantic Way.

The organisation’s annual publicity programme creates thousands of opportunities for potential visitors around the world to read, hear or watch positive messages about the island of Ireland; in 2014, this positive exposure was worth an estimated €280 million in equivalent advertising value. And Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative for St Patrick’s Day goes from strength to strength – with more than 180 landmark buildings and sites taking part this year, including the Colosseum in Rome and the Sacré-Cœur basilica in Paris. Tourism Ireland has also enlisted the help of some celebrities in its campaigns to promote Ireland – including astronaut Chris Hadfield, who spent several days here as a ‘tourist’ last year, with Tourism Ireland filming him along the way and producing a series of four short films called ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to the Island of Ireland’.

Niall Gibbons continued: “2014 was a record year for visitor numbers from important markets like the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Australia. Tourism Ireland is rolling an extensive programme of promotions in our key markets around the world throughout 2015 to keep that momentum going, highlighting the unique and distinctive holiday experiences of the island of Ireland. Our aim is to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism, surpassing the previous record year of 2007. I am confident that our strong campaigns will keep us ahead of the game, capturing the attention of prospective holidaymakers and motivating more people to choose Ireland as a holiday destination.”

Ireland is ranked number 2 in the world for ‘environmental sustainability’ (after Switzerland). Some of the other key findings relating to Ireland in the TTCI include:
  • number 3 for cost to start a business;
  • number 4 for government prioritisation of the travel and tourism industry;
  • number 5 for international openness;
  • number 12 for quality of the natural environment
The World Economic Forum produced the TTCI in collaboration with partners Bloom Consulting, Deloitte, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the UNWTO and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Notes To Editors

2015 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index: effectiveness of marketing and branding to attract tourists

  1. United Arab Emirates
  2. New Zealand
  3. Austria
  4. Seychelles
  5. Ireland
  6. Singapore
  7. Iceland
  8. Malaysia
  9. Switzerland
  10. Jamaica
2015 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index: overall rankings
  1. Spain
  2. France
  3. Germany
  4. United States
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Switzerland
  7. Australia
  8. Italy
  9. Japan
  10. Canada
  11. Singapore
  12. Austria
  13. Hong Kong SAR
  14. Netherlands
  15. Portugal
  16. New Zealand
  17. China
  18. Iceland
  19. Ireland
  20. Norway

Previous Press Release

12 May 2015

120,000 Canadians read about the Wild Atlantic Way