Tourism Ireland in France has launched its marketing plans for 2016, at an event in Paris attended by 40 leading French tour operators and travel journalists. France is one of the top four markets for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2015 was the third record-breaking year in a row for French visitors to Ireland. In fact, last year we welcomed more than half a million French visitors for the first time ever.
In 2016, Tourism Ireland aims to grow French visitors numbers by +5%. Building on last year’s success and sustaining growth into the future is at the heart of the organisation’s strategy. A key factor working in our favour includes improved access, with a +5% increase in airline seats for summer 2016 and flights from 25 different French airports to the island of Ireland, as well as excellent ferry connections.
Tourism Ireland will continue to target three key audiences in France: ‘culturally curious’, ‘great escapers’ and ‘social energisers’. Major promotional themes will include our spectacular coastal routes, including the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route; living historical stories and Ireland’s Ancient East; as well as city breaks to Dublin and Belfast.
The organisation will undertake a targeted programme of promotions to reach its key audiences through TV advertising (reaching about 15 million potential French holidaymakers), digital advertising and co-operative activity with partners (e.g. radio ads with Irish Ferries and Transavia and print ads with Aer Lingus, Brittany Ferries and Ryanair). In 2016, Tourism Ireland will continue to leverage its strength in digital and social media; the organisation now has more than 162,000 French Facebook
fans (3.4 million worldwide) and about 4,600 followers on Twitter
. Tourism Ireland will also ramp up its publicity programme in France – placing increased focus on digital channels and working more closely with online media, including bloggers. Top French tour operators and travel agents, as well as business tourism buyers, will be targeted through sales blitzes, workshops, familiarisation visits to Ireland and a major presence at IFTM (International French Travel Market).
Elmagh Killeen, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Southern Europe, said: “2015 was the best year ever for French visitor numbers to Ireland, with official CSO figures showing an increase of +11% – an additional 49,000 visitors over 2014. Tourism Ireland will roll out an extensive programme of promotional activity once again in 2016. We will work closely with our tourism partners – at home and in France – to keep the momentum going and build on the growth of the past few years.”
Francis Gouhier, Vacances Transat; Monica Ramchandani, Aer Lingus; Serge Fonseca, Finola O’Mahony and Elmagh Killeen, all Tourism Ireland; Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC); Florence Gourdon, Brittany Ferries; Caitriona Butler, Irish Ferries; Agnès Nicolas, Comptoir des Voyages – Pays Celtes; and Thomas Bergeal, Odigeo Group – Opodo, at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2016 marketing plans in France.
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 2015, we welcomed more than 8.6 million overseas visitors to Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.2 billion.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.