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10 Sep 2015

Tourism Ireland launches €12 million autumn campaign

Autumn promotional blitz targets late-season travellers around the world

Tourism Ireland and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe have launched a €12 million promotional campaign, to boost late-season travel to Ireland from around the world. The September to December period usually yields as much as 30% of Ireland’s annual overseas tourism business. 

The campaign will highlight the many festivals and events taking place right around the island this autumn – from the Dublin Theatre Festival to the Bram Stoker Festival, Culture Night, the Ulster Bank Belfast International Arts Festival, Wexford Festival Opera, Savour Kilkenny Food Festival, The Outing, Cork Jazz Festival and the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival. Tourism Ireland will also continue to highlight Yeats2015 and ID2015 (the year of Irish design) – taking every opportunity to leverage the tourism benefits of these year-long celebrations.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe said:  “I am delighted to launch Tourism Ireland’s autumn marketing campaign. CSO figures for the period to the end of July showed that we had increased the number of overseas visitors coming to Ireland by over +12% compared to 2014. In fact, the results represented the highest ever number of visitors to Ireland in that first seven-month period. The autumn campaign, which will roll out in all of our main target overseas markets, should ensure that the momentum is maintained and that 2015 will be a record year for Irish tourism.

“For the longer-term, earlier this year the Government published a policy statement “People, Place and Policy – Growing Tourism to 2025” and the second meeting of the new Tourism Leadership Group took place this week. The Group will drive the targets set out in the policy statement and we are now working on a detailed action plan to ensure that the strong tourism performance is maintained in the years ahead.”


Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said: “We have seen very strong growth of +12% in overseas visitors to Ireland for the first seven months of 2015. We are determined to keep that momentum going and ensure that growth continues. Our autumn campaign aims to take advantage of late booking trends in our target markets, as there is still plenty of business to play for. Many people are opting for shorter holiday breaks and autumn is a good opportunity with many world-class festivals and events happening around the island.” 

Niall Gibbons continued: “Tourism Ireland’s publicity drive continues this autumn, targeting print, broadcast and online media around the world, with lots of positive stories about Ireland, including our latest tourism experience, Ireland’s Ancient East. We will work hard to maximise the introduction of a number of new year-round and winter air routes, to grow tourism in the shoulder and off-seasons. In addition, Tourism Ireland will bring 170 top overseas travel agents and tour operators to the island of Ireland this autumn, to meet with 420 tourism businesses here and negotiate inclusion in their 2016 brochures and programmes.” 

The campaign – which is being rolled out in Great Britain, North America, Mainland Europe, Australia and emerging markets – will incorporate a major focus on city breaks, as well as on attracting visitors to more rural areas over the coming months. Highlights of the activity include co-operative promotions with Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Stena Line, transatlantic and long-haul airlines like United Airlines, Air Canada rouge and Emirates; extensive online advertising; as well as a busy programme of digital, PR and social media activity. 

Other highlights from the campaign:
  • Two major co-operative campaigns – with Aer Lingus and Ryanair – will run in our main markets across Mainland Europe, highlighting good value fares to Ireland for the autumn period.
  • About 100 top business tourism buyers – from Britain, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and India – will take part in a major ‘Meet in Ireland’ workshop in Dublin and familiarisation visit to the Wild Atlantic Way, in October. 
  • Tourism Ireland will bring 170 top overseas travel agents and tour operators to the island of Ireland this autumn, to meet with 420 tourism businesses here and negotiate inclusion in their 2016 brochures and programmes. 
  • ‘Jump into Ireland’ travel trade and media blitzes in Minneapolis, Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Francisco;
  • Tourism Ireland will ‘wrap’ Metro newspapers in New York, Boston and Philadelphia next week – with attractive, four-page wraps highlighting great reasons to travel here in the October to March period to about 600,000 commuters in the three cities; 
  • Tourism Ireland has commissioned two popular travel vloggers (or video bloggers), brothers Marko and Alex Ayling who are known as the Vagabrothers, to produce a series of nine videos, or vlogs, which will highlight three key themes: the Wild Atlantic Way, gastromony in Cork city and county, as well as culture and design in Dublin (with a focus on ID2015, the Year of Irish Design);
  • ‘Flavours of Ireland’ – targeting long-haul markets through UK inbound tour operators; and
  • World Travel Market, London – the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar, where Ireland’s Ancient East will be launched to the influential travel professionals in attendance.
Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, with Reeta Nisula (from Finland) and Eline Berendts (from the Netherlands), in Trinity College, Dublin, at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign.

Notes To Editors

Tourism Ireland’s global autumn campaign includes:

GREAT BRITAIN

  • Alan Titchmarsh highlights Ireland to 5 million ‘culturally curious’ 
    Tourism Ireland has teamed up with well-known English gardener and broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh this autumn – sponsoring his Saturday morning show on Classic FM, one of Britain’s largest radio stations. The promotion is running for seven weeks, reaching some 5 million of our ‘culturally curious’ audience in GB. Each week, Titchmarsh is highlighting some of the many reasons to visit Ireland – through a mix of live and recorded messages – covering a different theme each week. Listeners are encouraged to visit a special Ireland section on the Classic FM website – which features news and images of Ireland, as well as a chance to win a holiday here. Online ads are running on the Classic FM website – driving people to the Ireland section of the site; and other Classic FM presenters are also sharing their own unique experiences of holidaying in Ireland with listeners during the weekday schedule.
  • Targeting 2.6 million Telegraph readers
    Tourism Ireland’s ‘Live in the Now’ campaign with the Telegraph continues this autumn and will be seen by about 2.6 million ‘culturally curious’ – through ads running in the newspaper, as well as articles in a special Ireland section of the Telegraph online.
  • Online ads and video to reach millions of Britons
    An extensive online ad campaign will highlight Dublin and Belfast as vibrant city destinations on sites which are popular with our ‘social energiser’ audience – such as MailOnline, MTV News, FilmOn, dailymotion, Gigwise and EntertainmentWise; a separate online campaign will highlight the Wild Atlantic Way, Causeway Coastal Route, Dublin and its environs, and Belfast and Beyond to prospective ‘culturally curious’ visitors – on websites like TVGuide.co.uk, The Independent online, Channel5.com, DiscoveryUK.com and OfficialLondonTheatre.co.uk. 
    And video ads will also showcase the island of Ireland online. Tourism Ireland’s Craic Dublin and Check Belfast films will promote both cities to almost 1.5 million ‘social energisers’ between now and the end of the year – on popular mobile and tablet apps such as MailOnline, Kerrang and Kiss FM, as well as on TV catch-up apps. And our TV ads will reach 2.6 million ‘culturally curious’ watching popular programmes like Emmerdale and The One Show on mobile and tablet devices, via the TV CatchUp app.
  • Publicity spotlight
    Tourism Ireland’s publicity drive continues this autumn, targeting national and regional print, broadcast and online media throughout Britain, with lots of positive stories about the island of Ireland. Influential bloggers and journalists have been invited to experience events like the Bram Stoker Festival, The Outing, Dublin Theatre Festival and Wexford Festival Opera. 
  • Co-operation with key partners 
    A busy programme of co-operative campaigns with air and sea carriers – including Aer Lingus, Ryanair, CityJet, VLM, Flybe, Stena Line and P&O – is in the pipeline for this autumn. Campaigns will also be undertaken with major online travel agents like Expedia, Hotels.com and ebookers, to drive bookings for autumn breaks. Tourism Ireland will also work with leading British tour operators this autumn, including Stenaline Holidays, British Airways Holidays, Glenton Holidays, Fáilte Travel, Barrhead Travel, Superbreaks and GreatDays Travel. 
  • Promoting to the influential travel trade
    About 20 influential GB coach and group tour operators will take part in various familiarisation visits and attend a workshop in Limerick, where they will meet with a range of Irish tourism enterprises and negotiate for their 2016 programmes. 
  • World Travel Market
    Tourism Ireland will mount a significant presence at World Travel Market (WTM) in London, in November. This year, about 60 tourism enterprises from Ireland will join Tourism Ireland at WTM, the largest B2B event in the global tourism calendar – where Ireland’s Ancient East and Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016 will be launched to the influential travel professionals in attendance.
  • Growing business tourism
    Corporate meetings and association conferences continue to be the focus of Tourism Ireland’s business tourism promotions in GB this autumn. ‘Ireland Meets the West End’ in London, an important B2B event, will take place again this year, in November, with about 35 companies from Ireland signed up to attend.
  • ‘Teeing up’ our world-class golf
    Tourism Ireland will sponsor a golf day in September, at Burhill Golf Club in Surrey, highlighting our world-class golf to about 100 influential corporate buyers and golf travel specialists; companies due to attend include Maserati, Guinness and Barclay Wealth and Investment Management. Co-operative campaigns continue this autumn, with top online golf tour operators Your Golf Travel and Golfbreaks. And online ads will run on six key golf websites between now and the end of the year.
  • Spreading the good news about car touring in Ireland
    Once again, Tourism Ireland will have a presence at the Goodwood Revival in Chichester, in mid-September. This is one of the largest vintage car festival events in GB, attracting about 150,000 visitors and offering a fantastic platform to spread the good news about car touring holidays around the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland will also attend the Classic Motor Show in Birmingham, in mid-November – the most popular car exhibition in GB.
NORTH AMERICA
  • Autumn advertising campaigns
    Extensive advertising in the United States and Canada this autumn includes:
    -    online campaigns in the US, from mid-August until mid-November to engage millions of people in our ‘culturally curious’ and ‘social energiser’ audiences. The campaigns feature extensive use of video and other content to motivate and engage potential holidaymakers at the right time and in the right environment. The campaign targeting the ‘culturally curious’ is running on a range of sites such as BBC World, NationalGeographic.com, LonelyPlanet.com and Smithsonian, as well as on digital TV through CBS. Our second digital campaign, targeting younger ‘social energiser’ holidaymakers, is running on popular special interest sites, such as food, music and travel.  
    -    an online tactical ad campaign, running until November and aimed at turning more ‘lookers into bookers’, by presenting attractive Ireland vacation packages to prospective travellers at key booking periods, on popular websites like TravelZoo, New York Times, Dunhill Travel Deals and Shermans Travel. This campaign will reach a combined subscriber database of 62 million people, via dedicated e-blasts. 
    -    Tourism Ireland will also ‘wrap’ Metro newspapers in New York, Boston and Philadelphia next week – with attractive, four-page wraps highlighting great reasons to travel here in the October to March period to about 600,000 commuters in the three cities.   
    -    in Canada, Tourism Ireland’s online ad campaign will run from September to November on popular websites like BBC, The Weather Network and MSN, reaching some 20 million potential Canadian holidaymakers with ideas for great off-season breaks and special offers – inspiring them to travel here in the November to April period. 
    -    also in Canada, an online tactical ad campaign will highlight good value offers this autumn, to grow travel to Ireland during the shoulder season and encourage prospective travellers to book now. 
  • Travel trade and media blitzes
    Tourism Ireland and partners will ‘pound the pavements’ in the US once again this autumn, through a series of sales blitzes, targeting hundreds of travel agents in the key cities of Minneapolis, Denver and Dallas (in September) and Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Francisco (in November). The busy schedule includes a B2B event in each city showcasing the regions of Ireland to the travel agents, via a 60-minute travel TV show format, and will also include opportunities for media networking – providing an excellent opportunity for the participating tourism enterprises from Ireland to promote and sell their product to the key decision-makers they meet in the various cities.
  • Publicity spotlight
    Tourism Ireland’s publicity programme in the US alone this year will generate positive coverage for the island of Ireland, worth more than €135 million in equivalent advertising value. 
    -    Influential travel and lifestyle journalists and bloggers from the US have been invited to visit this autumn – including journalists from the Huffington Post, the Travel Channel, Fox News, PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) and Afar magazine. Canadian journalists travelling here this autumn will include representatives of Food & Drink and Style At Home magazines. And over the coming months, three, eight-page fashion stories – shot in Ireland earlier this year – will appear in various editions of Sharp, a popular men’s lifestyle magazine in Canada with about 440,000 readers.
    -    Tourism Ireland will also continue to highlight our culinary excellence this autumn, sponsoring a number of cookery shows on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) which will be seen in more than 100 million homes. Each show will feature one of our well-known chefs and “food ambassadors” – including Kevin Dundon, Neven Maguire and Clodagh McKenna. Other publicity opportunities this autumn will include Tourism Ireland’s sponsorship of Irish Film New York (IFNY festival); iBAM! Chicago 2015 (Irish books and music festival) which will honour Darina Allen of Ballymaloe for her outstanding contribution to Irish gastronomy; Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival; and the US tour by the Little Museum of Dublin.
  • Promoting to the influential travel trade
    The annual US Expo takes place this year in The Heritage Killenard, Co Laois, when Irish tourism enterprises will have the opportunity to meet and do business with about 40 carefully selected, high end American travel agents. A Canadian Expo takes place in Barberstown Castle, Co Kildare, in November, when Irish tourism enterprises will have the opportunity to meet and do business with about 15 carefully selected, top-producing Canadian travel agents. In Canada, a series of webinars (online training seminars for the travel trade) will include themes such as Ireland’s Ancient East. Tourism Ireland will also partner with Air Canada rouge on a series of educational workshops for travel agents in Edmonton, Vancouver and Ottawa. 
  • Social media promotions
    Almost 1 million people are following Tourism Ireland on Facebook in the US and almost 77,000 in Canada (3+ million fans worldwide) to learn more about the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland also has about 61,500 Twitter followers in the US (@GotoIrelandUS) and almost 25,000 followers in Canada (@GoToIrelandCA); and is also now targeting younger travellers through Pinterest, with 6,500 followers on the photo-sharing site.
  • Co-operation with airlines, tour operators and online travel agents
    Print and online campaigns with the various airlines serving the island of Ireland from the United States – including Aer Lingus, Delta, United Airlines, American and Ethiopian Airlines – are either under way or in the pipeline, to drive business in the shoulder and off-peak seasons. Tourism Ireland is also working with about ten leading American tour operators this autumn – including Sceptre Tours, CIE Tours International, Collette Vacations, Great Value Vacations, Trafalgar Tours and Gate1 Travel. And in Canada, Tourism Ireland – together with Air Canada rouge and Aer Lingus – is highlighting off-season travel, through sponsorship of the Chris Robinson Travel Show (popular radio show).  
  • Email marketing
    Tourism Ireland’s email marketing will reach almost 150,000 Americans each week this autumn, highlighting partner offers and compelling reasons to visit, in particular the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route, as well as key events like Yeats2015 and ID2015 (Year of Irish Design).
  • Growing business tourism 
    Tourism Ireland will continue to build awareness of the island of Ireland as a world-class destination for association conferences and incentive travel, this autumn. Activity will include a significant presence – with 30 partners from Ireland – at IMEX America in October, a three-day show in Las Vegas which targets decision-makers in the lucrative MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) sector. In Canada, an eight-page supplement will be seen by 18,000 readers of Meetings + Incentive Travel magazine. 
  • ‘Teeing up’ our world-class golf
    Tourism Ireland had a presence at last weekend’s Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Massachusetts.
  • Targeting equestrian enthusiasts
    Tourism Ireland will sponsor the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, in November – an indoor agricultural and horse show event, with about 320,000 visitors each year. 
MAINLAND EUROPE
  • Major co-operative campaigns will run in our main markets across Europe this autumn. In September and October, Tourism Ireland will partner with Aer Lingus in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, promoting flights to Dublin for the autumn period, through an extensive online and outdoor campaign. The organisation will also work with Aer Lingus to highlight flights to Cork from Paris, Amsterdam and Munich. And Tourism Ireland will partner with Ryanair to promote good value fares for autumn and winter breaks on flights to Dublin and Shannon.
Activity in individual European markets includes:
  • Germany
    o    Approximately 20 Irish tourism partners will travel to Offenbach in October, to take part in Tourism Ireland’s B2B workshop and networking event with key German, Swiss and Austrian tour operators. 
    o    Ireland’s Ancient East was highlighted to influential German tour operators during a three-day sales mission this week. 
    o    Tourism Ireland will team up with Samsung Germany, to bring ten top German Instagramers to Ireland, at the end of September. The Instagramers, all specialists in urban and landscape photography, will take in the Wild Atlantic Way and Belfast – capturing lots of great photos and then sharing them with their 1.5 million followers on Instagram. 
    o    A radio and online ad campaign with Germanwings and Dublin Airport will promote flights to Dublin in the North Rhine-Westphalia region. 
    o    An online tactical campaign will run until October on key news, travel and special interest websites, encouraging Germans to ‘travel now’ to Ireland. 
    o    Business tourism promotions will include a refreshed online MICE Academy (training programme) aimed at raising awareness among German MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) buyers of the excellent business tourism offering right around Ireland; a B2B workshop in Munich at the end of November, targeting senior representatives of companies involved in the MICE sector in southern Germany; as well as advertorials in key business magazines between September and December, reaching more than 40,000 influential MICE buyers.
  • France
    o    Tourism Ireland will team up with Brittany Ferries for a ‘book early for 2016’ campaign, highlighting car touring, coach tours and family holidays to Ireland. And a campaign with Transavia (airline), in October, will continue to highlight the new Paris Orly to Dublin service and off-season breaks to Ireland. 
    o    Tourism Ireland will work with Konbini (culture, arts and news website) in September and October, promoting city breaks in Dublin and Belfast to our ‘social energiser’ audience. An online campaign will also highlight city breaks, as well as this autumn’s Festival Season, to our ‘culturally curious’ audience. 
    o    Tactical ads will run on the sites of popular online travel agents – lastminute.com (in September and October) and Opodo (in November); and email marketing will also highlight good value, off-season breaks in Ireland and special offers from Irish industry partners and the French travel trade.
    o    Ten Irish tourism enterprises will join Tourism Ireland for this year’s IFTM (International French Travel Market), the largest travel trade exhibition in France, at the end of September – where Tourism Ireland will launch Ireland’s Ancient East and The Gobbins Coastal Path to the influential French travel professionals in attendance.
    o    Two French TV crews will film in the West of Ireland this autumn – including Échappées Belles (travel programme) for France 3, the second largest public TV channel in France. Tourism Ireland has invited members of AJP (Association des Journalistes du Patrimoine), the French heritage writers association, to come and discover the rich heritage and culture of the Shannon region, in October. And Tourism Ireland will also host two media events in Paris, in October – to launch the latest edition of the Petit Futé guidebook for Ireland and to launch the latest book by celebrity chef Trish Deseine Mon Irlande.
       In December, a four-page insert will highlight the island of Ireland for conferences and meetings to 7,000 readers of Meet and Travel magazine.
    o    A group of French tour operators has been invited to visit Ireland in November.
  • Spain
    o    An online campaign will promote Dublin and Belfast for great city breaks to more than six million Spanish ‘social energisers’, in October and November. Spain is an important market for late season travel, with about 21% of all Spanish visitors to Ireland arriving in October, November and December. 
    o    Co-operative activity with online travel agents (OTAs) this autumn includes a print and online campaign with Logitravel (the third largest online travel agent in Spain) and an online campaign with eDreams. Tourism Ireland will also co-operate with Iberia on an online campaign, in September and October. 
  • Italy
    o    A busy digital campaign, including email marketing and social media, will highlight Dublin and Belfast as ideal city break destinations. This will be complemented by co-operative activity with leading Italian online travel agents eDreams and Volagratis, to promote Dublin; and with Jet2 and Visit Belfast to promote Belfast.
    o    In October, Tourism Ireland will attend TTG Incontri, an important trade fair in Rimini which was attended by about 37,000 Italian travel professionals in 2014.
    o    Tourism Ireland will also organise various events at EXPO Milan this autumn – including an event for the ELT (English language teaching) sector in September; and an event highlighting the gardens of the Wild Atlantic Way to Italian garden clubs, also in September. 
  • Northern Europe
    o    Ireland’s Ancient East was unveiled to top Dutch tour operators, travel agents and online travel agents this week – at Tourism Ireland’s annual trade workshop in Amsterdam. Twelve partners from the island of Ireland, as well as representatives from Aer Lingus and KLM, participated in the workshop, meeting and doing business for 2016 with the Dutch travel professionals.
    o    Tourism Ireland will partner with CheapTickets, the largest online travel agency in the Netherlands, to promote city breaks to Ireland during September.
    o    In the Nordic countries, an online campaign will highlight Dublin and Belfast, with the headline ‘Two Cities, One Break’, on the site of eTraveli (the biggest online travel agent in the Nordics) between now and the end of the year; online ads on travel and lifestyle websites will also encourage traditional music fans to travel to Dublin in January, to attend TradFest.
    o    And in Denmark, an episode of a popular reality TV show – filmed in Dublin and Kildare in June – will air this autumn on DR1 (national television channel) to about 1 million TV viewers; and an episode of a Norwegian reality television show will be filmed in Ireland’s Ancient East this month and will air in Norway before the end of the year.
    o    Key conference and meetings buyers in Belgium will hear all about our world-class business tourism offering at two networking events, in October and November. 
AUSTRALIA AND DEVELOPING MARKETS
  • Advertising in Australia to capitalise on ‘early bird’ booking season
    Tourism Ireland in Australia will kick off a digital and print ad campaign at the end of September, to capitalise on the important ‘early bird’ booking season – when all the major airlines promote their special fares. The campaign will run until the end of this year, keeping the island of Ireland ‘front of mind’ for Australians considering a trip to Europe in 2016. Also in Australia, Tourism Ireland is running a competition to promote the island of Ireland and the Celtic Woman tour on The Morning Show on Channel 7. It involves eight, 30-second promotional films with wonderful footage of Ireland and a competition to win a trip to Ireland (entrants have to write a Limerick outlining why they want to come here) running over ten days on air and on the show’s website. 
  • Publicity spotlight
    New Zealand TV and radio cooking personality Annabelle White has been invited to visit in October, “in search of the Great Irish Breakfast”. And more than 300,000 South Africans will be tuning into images of Ireland this autumn – when three episodes of a popular show called Jan Braai vir Erfenis (meaning “Jan’s barbecue for heritage”), filmed here this summer, are broadcast.
  • “One Break, Two Cities” campaign in GCC
    A campaign is highlighting the Visa Waiver Scheme in the Middle East, during the Eid holidays in August and September – targeting GCC holidaymakers travelling to Britain and encouraging them to add on a visit to Dublin, Cork or Belfast. 
  • Co-operation with key partners 
    Tourism Ireland in China will team up with Tuniu, one of the country’s leading online travel companies, to create a new Ireland video which will be used to promote Tuniu’s new seven-day Ireland programme. In India, Tourism Ireland is joining VisitBritain on its B2B ‘mini roadshow’ – meeting travel professionals in nine cities, kicking off in Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune (in the West), continuing to Kolkata, New Delhi and Chandigarh (in the East and North) and ending in Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad (in the South). In the GCC, a digital campaign in partnership with Etihad will highlight ease of access to Ireland – with Etihad’s double-daily flights to Dublin – as well as compelling reasons to visit the island of Ireland. And in South Africa, Tourism Ireland will team up with Trafalgar (tour operator), with a competition on the popular Expresso breakfast TV show offering viewers the chance to win a holiday to the island of Ireland. 
  • UK inbound tour operators workshop
    Twenty influential UK inbound tour operators have been invited to Ireland in October, to take part in a familiarisation visit and a workshop in Dublin, where they will meet and do business with Irish tourism enterprises.
  • A taste of Ireland at ‘Flavours’ event in London
    Tourism Ireland’s annual ‘Flavours of Ireland’ event takes place in London, at the beginning of October. The B2B tourism workshop, which aims to grow our share of the huge worldwide tourism market, will see about 100 representatives of the top GB-based inbound tour operators come together to do business with 40 tourism organisations from Ireland.

Previous Press Release

09 Sep 2015

Ciao Dublin!