Autumn promotional blitz targets late-season travellers around the world
Tourism Ireland has launched a £7 million promotional campaign, to boost late-season travel to Northern Ireland from around the world. The September to December period usually yields as much as 30% of our annual overseas tourism business.
The campaign will highlight the many festivals and events taking place around Northern Ireland this autumn and winter – from the Belfast International Arts Festival to Culture Night, the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival in Londonderry, Belfast Comedy Festival and Cinemagic Belfast. Tourism Ireland will also promote the Seamus Heaney HomePlace, due to open at the end of September, to its important ‘culturally curious’ audience.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The latest NISRA figures indicate that overseas visitors to Northern Ireland increased by +8% in the first quarter of 2016, over the same three-month period last year. And I am pleased to report that sentiment from our tourism partners overseas (including tour operators and carriers), as well as our industry partners (including hoteliers and visitors attractions), indicates that growth from overseas has continued into the high summer season. Our autumn campaign aims to take advantage of late booking trends in our markets around the world, 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 here.”
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 Northern Ireland – including the fantastic news that Titanic Belfast was named Europe’s leading visitor attraction at the World Travel Awards last weekend. We will promote Northern Ireland through our sales missions to the Middle East, India, Australia and New Zealand. We will continue to highlight Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink – with lots of great promotions in the pipeline between now and the end of 2016. We will join forces with Ryanair to maximise the introduction of its new flights from Berlin and Milan to Belfast. We will also continue to build awareness of Northern Ireland as a top business tourism destination, particularly highlighting the new facilities at the Belfast Waterfront. In addition, Tourism Ireland will bring top overseas tour operators to Northern Ireland this autumn, to meet with local tourism businesses and negotiate inclusion in their 2017 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 Ryanair, Flybe, Aer Lingus, Visit Belfast, P&O and Stena Line, highlighting great fares and autumn breaks in Belfast and Northern Ireland; extensive online advertising; as well as a busy programme of digital, PR and social media activity.
Other highlights from the campaign:
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Emma Gorman, Digital Campaigns Manager; and Brian Ambrose, Chairman of Tourism Ireland, at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign in Belfast.
- Forty influential UK inbound tour operators will attend a ‘Discover Northern Ireland’ workshop in Galgorm Resort & Spa.
- Video blogger Kerryann Dunlop will film in Londonderry, for Jamie Oliver’s hugely popular Food Tube channel, highlighting the city and Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink to hundreds of thousands of ‘foodies’.
- Northern Ireland will be ‘on the menu’ at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham; and top GB food journalists will also be invited to attend the BBC Good Food Show in Belfast.
- Tourism Ireland will work with Ryanair to maximise the promotion of its new flights from Berlin and Milan to Belfast.
- Tourism Ireland will once again have a presence at the Stone Mountain Highland Games in Atlanta, in October – targeting the Scots-Irish and Ulster Scots market and helping to ensure Northern Ireland is high on the vacation ‘wish-list’ of Americans for 2017.
- Digital campaigns will run for ten weeks in the United States, reaching about 100 million people in our ‘culturally curious’ and ‘social energiser’ audiences.
- Hitting the road: Tourism Ireland’s ‘Jump into Ireland’ travel trade and media blitz will take in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle; and sales missions to the Middle East, India, New Zealand and Australia will also take place.
- ‘Flavours of Ireland’ workshop, will target long-haul markets through UK inbound tour operators.
- World Travel Market takes place again in London, the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar.
Notes To Editors
Tourism Ireland’s global autumn campaign includes:
- Actor Richard E Grant highlights Northern Ireland to 5.5 million ‘culturally curious’
Tourism Ireland will continue to promote its online films starring well-known actor Richard E Grant – via social media – this autumn. The films, highlighting Belfast and the Causeway Coast, are part of a campaign with Smooth Radio (popular radio station) which will reach about 5.5 million ‘culturally curious’ holidaymakers across GB.
- Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube films in Londonderry
Tourism Ireland has invited video blogger Kerryann Dunlop to come and film in Londonderry later this month, for Jamie Oliver’s hugely popular Food Tube channel. It’s Tourism Ireland’s latest promotion to highlight Northern Ireland and our special Year of Food and Drink, as well as the fantastic Halloween celebrations in Londonderry. The film will see Kerryann – one of the original 15 apprentices at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant – bake a Halloween barmbrack with a special Northern Ireland twist! The video, due to go live in mid-October, will also feature footage of Londonderry, including the Guildhall, the Peace Bridge and the city walls. Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube is one of YouTube’s most successful food channels, featuring Jamie and a number of his friends and up-and-coming cooking talent. With some 22 million monthly views, it’s a really popular community for food lovers – and a superb platform to showcase Northern Ireland.
- Northern Ireland ‘on the menu’ at BBC Good Food Show
Tourism Ireland, together with Invest NI, will attend the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham, in November – highlighting Northern Ireland artisan produce and the wonderful culinary experience on offer here. Tourism Ireland will also invite key GB food journalists to attend the BBC Good Food Show in the Belfast Waterfront, in October – and then to extend their stay, to take in more of Northern Ireland and our wonderful food experiences.
- Targeting 1.85 million Telegraph readers
An article all about Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink will appear in the Saturday travel section of the Telegraph this weekend, reaching about 1.1 million readers; and other articles about Northern Ireland will appear in the Telegraph online, between September and November, reaching a further 750,000 readers.
- Promoting Belfast to 1.5+ million ‘social energisers’ via Time Out
Tourism Ireland will partner with Time Out – reaching its 1.1 million readers with a double-page spread on Belfast and with other articles about the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival and Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink. Digital promotions for Belfast will target a further 550,000 people – through a special Belfast section on Time Out online, blog posts and email marketing.
- Online advertising blitz
Tourism Ireland will reach almost 8 million ‘culturally curious’ holidaymakers online this autumn – through ads on Facebook; ads on lifestyle websites such as BBC Good Food, Country Living and Food&Wine; and with a 30-second Northern Ireland video running on websites like National Geographic, TVguide.co.uk and TVplayer.com. Tourism Ireland will reach about 4.5 million ‘social energisers’ between now and the end of the year – with its Check Belfast and Craic Dublin films playing on popular music platforms Vevo and YouTube, as well as through advertising on Facebook.
- Publicity spotlight
Tourism Ireland’s publicity drive continues this autumn, targeting national and regional print, broadcast and online media throughout GB, with lots of positive stories about Northern Ireland. Journalists from GB media outlets, including the Guardian, have been invited to attend the opening of the Seamus Heaney HomePlace, at the end of September. And a promotion highlighting Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink will reach more than 58,000 readers of the September edition of delicious. (food magazine); with many more reading about it in the online version of the magazine.
- Social media and email marketing
Tourism Ireland will continue to deliver relevant and timely information about Northern Ireland this autumn, via social media and email marketing. The organisation has 440,000+ Facebook fans and 70,000 Twitter followers in Britain alone (@GoToIrelandGB). And email marketing will target about 170,000 potential holidaymakers around Britain each week, featuring great offers from industry partners – highlighting both value and ease of access – and encouraging them to come and visit this autumn or winter and perhaps sample some of the many events taking place here.
- Co-operating with key travel partners
A busy programme of co-operative campaigns with Aer Lingus, Flybe, Visit Belfast, Stena Line and P&O will highlight great fares and autumn breaks in Belfast and Northern Ireland. Tourism Ireland will promote Belfast in conjunction with leading online travel agents like Expedia, lastminute.com and Travelzoo; and will also work with leading GB tour operators, including Glenton Holidays, Fáilte Travel, Barrhead Travel, Superbreaks and GreatDays Travel.
- Promoting to the influential travel trade
Influential GB coach and group tour operators will attend a workshop in Belfast, in mid-September, where they will meet with a range of local tourism enterprises and negotiate for their 2017 programmes. They will also take part in a fact-finding visit of Fermanagh.
- World Travel Market
Tourism Ireland will mount a significant presence at World Travel Market (WTM) in London, in November, the largest B2B event in the global tourism calendar. Northern Ireland companies who will join Tourism Ireland at WTM this year include the Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Visit Belfast, Titanic Belfast, Causeway Coastal Route, Visit Derry, Mourne Mountains, Lough Erne Resort and the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre.
- 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 mid-November, with ten companies from Northern Ireland signed up to attend.
- ‘Teeing up’ our world-class golf
Email marketing in conjunction with N1 London Greenwich Peninsula will highlight our world-class golf to about 100,000 golfers, golf pros and corporate clients. Co-operative campaigns continue this autumn, with top online golf tour operators Your Golf Travel and Golfbreaks. And online ads will run on key golf websites between now and the end of the year.
- Spreading the good news about car touring holidays
Once again, Tourism Ireland and partners will have a presence at the Goodwood Revival in Chichester, next weekend (9-11 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 in Northern Ireland and around the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland and partners (including Nutt Travel) will also attend the Classic Motor Show in Birmingham, in November – the most popular car exhibition in GB.
- Online advertising blitz
Digital campaigns will run for ten weeks in the US (12 September–20 November), reaching about 100 million 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’ will run on a range of sites such as BBC World, NationalGeographic.com and LonelyPlanet.com, as well as on digital TV through CBS. Our campaign targeting younger, ‘social energiser’ holidaymakers will run on popular lifestyle and travel sites. And a separate, tactical ad campaign will run on popular websites like TravelZoo, Travel Spike, Dunhill Travel Deals and Shermans Travel – aimed at turning more ‘lookers into bookers’ by presenting attractive vacation packages to prospective travellers at key booking periods. In Canada, Tourism Ireland’s online campaign will run until the end of October, reaching millions of ‘culturally curious’ travellers. Ads will run on websites like AOL, Yahoo and BBC.com; and Ireland videos and articles will run on a number of channels like Facebook, Frommers, Fodors, Traveltune and Sparkrecipes.
- Publicity spotlight
Influential travel and lifestyle journalists and bloggers from the US and Canada have been invited to visit this autumn – including a journalist from the Toronto Star, who will visit Belfast in September, and the editor of Canadian Golf Traveller. And Northern Ireland will feature in an upcoming episode of the PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) TV travel series, Travelscope.
- Social media and email marketing
Over 1.15 million people are following Tourism Ireland on Facebook in the US and over 100,000 in Canada (3.6+ million fans worldwide) to learn more about Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland also has almost 65,000 Twitter followers in the US (@GotoIrelandUS) and almost 28,000 followers in Canada (@GoToIrelandCA); and is also targeting younger travellers through Pinterest, with 8,300 followers on the photo-sharing site. Tourism Ireland’s email marketing will reach about 168,000 Americans each week this autumn, highlighting partner offers and compelling reasons to visit.
- Travel trade and media blitz in LA, San Francisco and Seattle
Tourism Ireland and partners will target hundreds of travel agents in the key cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle (in November), as part of its final ‘Jump into Ireland’ event of 2016. The busy schedule will include a B2B event in each city showcasing Northern Ireland and 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 businesses to promote and sell their product to the key decision-makers they meet in the various cities.
- Promoting to the influential travel trade
A Canadian Expo takes place in Galway, in October, for about 20 top-producing Canadian travel agents; afterwards, the travel agents will undertake a familiarisation visit to Northern Ireland. In the US and Canada, Tourism Ireland’s autumn series of webinars (online training seminars for the travel trade) will cover a range of themes about Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland.
- Co-operation with airlines, tour operators and online travel agents
Online campaigns with the various airlines serving the island of Ireland from the United States – including Delta, 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 leading American tour operators this autumn – including Sceptre Tours, CIE Tours International, Collette Vacations and Celtic Tours. And in Canada, Tourism Ireland will partner with Air Canada rouge, Aer Lingus, Royal Irish Tours and Globus.
- Growing business tourism
Tourism Ireland will continue to build awareness of Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland as a world-class destination for association conferences and incentive travel, this autumn. Activity will include a significant presence, with partners – including Hastings Culloden Hotel and Visit Belfast – at IMEX America in October, a three-day show which targets decision-makers in the lucrative MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) sector.
- Teeing up’ our world-class golf
Tourism Ireland’s 30-second ‘Home of Champions’ ad will highlight our world-class golf (including the fact that Royal Portrush will host The Open in 2019) on the hugely popular NBC Golf Channel during the Ryder Cup, which takes place 30 September–2 October.
- 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. This year, Tourism Ireland has invited Stephen Jeffers, of the Belfast Cookery School, to participate in the international chef challenge at the Royal Winter Fair – highlighting our world-class food and Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink.
- Targeting Ulster Scots market
Tourism Ireland and partners (Belfast Tattoo, Ulster Historical Foundation, Ulster-Scots Agency and National Museums NI) will once again have a presence at the Stone Mountain Highland Games in Atlanta, in October – targeting the Scots-Irish and Ulster Scots market and helping to ensure Northern Ireland is high on the vacation ‘wish-list’ of Americans for 2017.
- Major co-operative campaigns with carriers will run in our main markets across Europe this autumn, drawing business to the island. In September, Tourism Ireland will undertake an online campaign with Aer Lingus in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, through an extensive online and outdoor campaign. And Tourism Ireland will partner with Ryanair in a number of top European markets, including in Germany and Italy, to promote new routes to Belfast from Berlin and Milan.
Activity in individual European markets includes:
AUSTRALIA AND DEVELOPING MARKETS
- Tourism Ireland will partner with Ryanair to promote its new flight from Berlin to Belfast; and 11 million Germans will be targeted this September, through an online ad campaign with Aer Lingus.
- Tourism partners – including Visit Belfast, Visit Derry, Titanic Belfast and National Trust Giant’s Causeway – 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.
- Twelve influential German coach tour operators will visit in October, to take part in a familiarisation visit; their itinerary will include Armagh, the Marble Arch Caves and the Ulster American Folk Park.
- Business tourism promotions will include a B2B workshop in Düsseldorf at the end of November, targeting senior representatives of companies involved in the MICE sector in Germany; as well as advertorials in key business magazines between September and December, reaching more than 80,000 influential MICE buyers.
- A Tourism Ireland video, highlighting the Causeway Coastal Route, will run on a mix of popular video networks, from the end of November to mid-December.
- Tourism Ireland will work with MinuteBuzz (culture, arts and news website) in September and October, promoting city breaks in Belfast to our important ‘social energiser’ and ‘culturally curious’ audiences, in partnership with Visit Belfast.
- Ads will run on the websites of popular online travel agents Voyages SNCF (September) and the ODIGEO Group (October), as part of another campaign with Visit Belfast.
- Tourism Ireland will team up with Brittany Ferries for a ‘book early for 2017’ campaign, highlighting car touring, coach tours and family holidays.
- Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink will be highlighted to French food writers – at an event which Tourism Ireland will host with Invest NI to coincide with SIAL Paris (international food exhibition), in October.
- A journalist from Country and Hotel (popular lifestyle magazine) will visit this autumn, to research a 16-page feature on driving holidays in Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink.
- French business tourism buyers will visit Belfast, Tyrone and Fermanagh, in mid-October, visiting venues like Belfast Waterfront, Titanic Belfast, Grange Lodge Country House, Belle Isle Cookery School and Crom Castle.
- Tourism Ireland will also promote Northern Ireland at this year’s IFTM (International French Travel Market), the largest travel trade exhibition in France, at the end of September – screen tourism, and our connections with Game of Thrones and Star Wars, will be the focus this year.
- Tourism Ireland’s digital campaign will promote weekend breaks to Belfast, Cork and Dublin to over one million Spanish ‘social energisers’. Spain is an important market for late season travel, with more than 20% of our Spanish visitors arriving in the off-season or Q4.
- Tourism Ireland will also team up with the one of the biggest brands in Spain – the tour operating arm of Spanish retailing giant El Corte Inglés – promoting winter breaks to millions of late-season Spanish travellers, via billboard ads in Madrid metro stations, as well as online and in-store advertising.
- Ryanair will launch its new service between Milan and Belfast in early September; Tourism Ireland will work with Ryanair to maximise the promotion of this new service; activity will include a familiarisation visit for five key journalists, as well as co-operative advertising promoting short breaks to Belfast.
- Short breaks to Belfast and Northern Ireland will be promoted through email marketing and social media.
- In October, Tourism Ireland will attend TTG Incontri, an important trade fair in Rimini which was attended by about 63,000 Italian travel professionals in 2015.
- Due Ruote biker magazine (circulation approximately 150,000) will visit the Causeway Coastal Route by motorbike, in September.
- And influential travel journalists will be invited to visit Strangford Lough, an area which holds a special appeal for Italians.
- Northern Europe
- Tourism Ireland’s “5 unique reasons to visit Ireland” campaign in Belgium and the Netherlands will promote autumn and winter festivals, including the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival, as well as music, nature and Christmas shopping.
- Tourism Ireland’s annual trade workshop in Amsterdam will take place in mid-September, with partners (including Visit Belfast, Visit Derry, Titanic Belfast, The Gobbins and National Trust Giant’s Causeway), meeting and doing business for 2017 with the Dutch travel professionals.
- Some 900,000 TV viewers in the Netherlands will tune into images of Co Down in October, in a popular travel programme called Vive la Frans. The show follows brothers Frans and Dorus Bauer as they explore Europe’s culture, music and scenery, gathering insights into local life from the people they meet along the way. Filming took place this summer.
- In the Nordic countries, an online campaign will highlight Belfast and Dublin, 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.
- Tourism Ireland will also partner with Norwegian Airlines (in Norway), Finnair (in Finland) and Ryanair (in Denmark) to highlight autumn city breaks.
- Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with BT Tours (leading Belgian tour operator), has invited 14 Belgian travel agents to visit Belfast and the Causeway Coast, in October.
- 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.
- UK inbound tour operators workshop
Thirty influential UK inbound tour operators attended a ‘Discover Northern Ireland’ workshop in Galgorm Resort & Spa, yesterday (7 September). Organised by UKinbound (the trade association for UK inbound tour operators), and supported by Tourism Ireland, the workshop will see the tour operators meet and do business with local tourism enterprises and also take part in a familiarisation visit.
- A taste of Northern Ireland at ‘Flavours’ workshop
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 UK inbound tour operators come together to do business with tourism organisations from the island of Ireland – including five partners from Northern Ireland (Visit Derry, City Hotel Derry, Beech Hill Country House Hotel, National Trust Giant’s Causeway and Hastings Hotel Group).
- Publicity spotlight
New Zealand TV and radio cooking personality Annabelle White will visit Northern Ireland in September, to check out what’s happening for Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink. Annabelle will write about her culinary adventures here in New Zealand’s Woman’s Weekly magazine, which has about 634,000 readers; she will also broadcast to some 15,000 listeners of her weekly slot on RadioLIVE and to 123,000 viewers of The Paul Henry Show, New Zealand’s leading breakfast TV show. And a crew from The Living room – Australia’s favourite lifestyle show, with about 800,000 viewers per episode – will travel here at the end of September, to film footage in Northern Ireland, Dublin and Galway.
- Tourism Ireland leads sales mission to the GCC and India
Thirteen tourism companies from the island of Ireland, including HMS Caroline and the Bushmills Inn, will join Tourism Ireland’s sales mission to the United Arab Emirates and India later this month. The sales mission will target top travel agents and tour operators in the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi (in the UAE) and Mumbai and New Delhi (in India).
- Hitting the road ‘Down Under’
Ten tourism companies from the island of Ireland (including Titanic Belfast and National Trust Giant’s Causeway) will also take part in a week-long sales mission to New Zealand and Australia, in November. They will meet, and do business with, some 300 influential travel agents, tour operators, airlines and travel journalists – through a series of workshops and networking events in Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
- Advertising in Australia to capitalise on ‘early bird’ booking season
Tourism Ireland in Australia will kick off an online and print advertising 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 November, keeping Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland ‘front of mind’ for Australians considering a trip to Europe in 2017 and reminding them that the island of Ireland is the ‘best start to your European trip’. Ads in Australian Traveller Magazine will reach about 45,000 ‘culturally curious’ holidaymakers in Sydney and Melbourne this autumn; online ads on the Fairfax network (Australia’s premier network of online news) and ads on Facebook will also highlight Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland to hundreds of thousands of ‘culturally curious’. And Tourism Ireland will target ‘social energisers’ through social media, including Facebook and Instagram.
- Co-operation with key partners
In China, Tourism Ireland will team up with British Airways and Sparkle Tour (a leading travel agency), to promote Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland for family holidays to China’s growing middle class – through Sparkle Tour’s digital channels, social channels like WeChat and Weibo, as well as through training for travel agents in Beijing. Tourism Ireland will also work with Ctrip (the largest online travel agency in China), showcasing Belfast and the Wild Atlantic Way through stunning VR (virtual reality) footage on a number of popular video-sharing websites. And Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with Virgin Airlines, has invited eight influential tour operators based in southern China to visit Northern Ireland, at the end of October. In India, Tourism Ireland will join leading tour operators Kesari and Cosmos Globus, to promote their island of Ireland programmes and to highlight the British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS). In the UAE, Tourism Ireland will co-operate with Dnata Travel.