Tourism Ireland in France has launched its marketing plans for 2018, at an event in Paris attended by leading French tour operators, travel agents and travel journalists. Irish Ambassador to France, Patricia O’Brien, addressed the guests attending the launch.
France is one of the top four markets for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2017 was the fifth record-breaking year in a row for French visitors to Ireland. In fact, by the end of this year, we will have welcomed around 544,000 French visitors, up +4% on last year.
In 2018, Tourism Ireland aims to grow French visitor numbers by +5%. Building on this 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 excellent access by air and sea and, in particular, the introduction of the new Irish Ferries cruise ferry, the WB Yeats, in July 2018 – which will mean double the current number of sailings between France and Ireland, with daily departures in alternate directions.
“2017 was the best year ever for French visitor numbers to the island of Ireland,”
said Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Southern Europe. “By year end, we will have welcomed around 544,000 French visitors. Tourism Ireland will roll out an extensive programme of promotional activity once again in 2018. We are excited about the opportunities the new Irish Ferries cruise ferry will bring to grow tourist numbers from France. We look forward to working closely with Irish Ferries and all of our tourism partners – at home and in France – to keep the momentum going and build on the growth of the past few years.”
In 2018, Tourism Ireland will undertake a targeted programme of promotions to reach its key audiences. A major TV advertising campaign will kick off in early February, reaching up to 20 million potential French holidaymakers on national TV stations France 2 and France 3. The campaign will be supported by digital advertising and co-operative activity with partners such as Irish Ferries, Aer Lingus, Brittany Ferries, Ryanair, easyJet and Transavia. Tourism Ireland will continue to leverage its strength in digital and social media; the organisation now has around 184,000 French Facebook
fans (4.1 million worldwide) and more than 33,000 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) in Paris.
Finola O’Mahony, Tourism Ireland; Patricia O’Brien, Irish Ambassador to France; Caitriona Butler, Irish Ferries; and Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland, at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2018 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 281,000 people across the island.
- By the end of 2017, we will have welcomed approximately 10.65 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.78 billion.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 19.37 million visitors in 2016.