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19 Apr 2016

Actor Richard E Grant lends a hand to promote the island of Ireland

Tourism Ireland promotion to reach 5.5 million people across Great Britain

Tourism Ireland has teamed up with actor Richard E Grant and Smooth Radio, the third largest radio brand in Britain, in a new promotion to showcase the island of Ireland to British holidaymakers this year.

Tourism Ireland is working with Smooth Radio to produce a series of five short online films. Viewers will see Richard E Grant immerse himself in our culture and meet the locals, showcasing some of the many wonderful experiences on offer here. The films will feature Belfast, the Causeway Coast, the Wild Atlantic Way, Dublin and Ireland’s Ancient East. Tourism Ireland worked closely with Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland, to agree the locations to feature in each film.

The campaign – which will be rolled out in two phases – will reach about 5.5 million people across Britain. The films will be promoted on the Smooth Radio website and through on-air mentions. They will also be shared via social media – targeting Tourism Ireland’s audience on Facebook (430,000 fans in Britain alone) and Twitter (67,000+ followers).

Richard E Grant is a great fit for the Tourism Ireland campaign and its key audience of ‘culturally curious’ holidaymakers. His appearances in British films and TV series like Withnail and I, Downton Abbey and Hotel Secrets (which featured Ireland in the first series) have cemented his popularity and made him one of the best-known faces on British television.

Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Deputy Head of Great Britain, said: “Our newest promotion has been specifically designed to highlight holidays and short breaks on the island of Ireland to our ‘culturally curious’ audience in Great Britain. These are independent, active sightseers, who are typically looking to visit new places and expand their experience by exploring landscapes, history and culture. We are really excited to be working with Richard E Grant and Smooth Radio, as they are a great fit with this important demographic. This is just one element of our extensive promotional programme that we are rolling out this year – aimed at boosting travel to Ireland from Great Britain during 2016.

“Great Britain is the largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland and we have seen excellent growth in British visitor numbers so far again this year, with the latest CSO figures indicating a +21% increase for the December 2015 to February 2016 period.”

  Julie Wakely, Tourism Ireland, with actor Richard E Grant, during filming at Titanic Belfast.

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 220,000 people.
  • In 2015, we welcomed approximately 9.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.7 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.


Previous Press Release

18 Apr 2016

Tourism Ireland leads sales mission to China