Autumn promotional blitz targets late-season travellers around the world
Tourism Ireland today launched an extensive 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. As part of the campaign, TV and radio presenter Aled Jones filmed a new online video in Belfast – for a promotion in GB which will reach about 7.5 million potential holidaymakers.
Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign will highlight the many festivals and events taking place in 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. It will incorporate a major focus on city breaks, as well as on attracting visitors to more rural areas over the coming months, and we will continue to work closely with our colleagues in Tourism Northern Ireland, Visit Belfast and with other tourism partners, to maximise the opportunities.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The latest NISRA figures confirm that overseas visitors to Northern Ireland increased by +8% in the first quarter of 2017 over the same three-month period last year. And, I am pleased to report that sentiment in general for 2017 from our tourism partners overseas (including tour operators and carriers), as well as our industry partners here at home (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 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. A busy programme with our key travel partners will highlight attractive packages and ease of access to Northern Ireland, including an extensive campaign with Norwegian in the US. We will also promote Northern Ireland through our sales missions to the Middle East, India, Australia and New Zealand.”
Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign is being rolled out in Great Britain, North America, Mainland Europe, Australia and emerging tourism markets.
Highlights of the campaign include:
Welsh TV and radio presenter Aled Jones (right) with Claire Brosnan, Tourism Ireland, in the Cathedral Quarter at the Belfast launch of Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign.
- A campaign in GB with TV and radio presenter Aled Jones, on Classic FM and Smooth Radio, which will reach more than 7.5 million ‘culturally curious’ travellers;
- A separate campaign in GB with Vevo, a leading music and entertainment platform, featuring two well-known music acts, to highlight Belfast and Dublin for great city breaks to up to 10 million ‘social energisers’;
- An eye-catching Northern Ireland window installation in the iconic Saks Fifth Avenue flagship locations in New York and Beverly Hills;
- Celebrity chef Rachel Allen will showcase the culinary delights of Northern Ireland on Channel 4 this autumn, in a programme titled Rachel Allen: A Cook’s Adventure;
- International food and lifestyle journalists arrive in Fermanagh on 20 September, to take part in a “Food, Galor-ious Food” familiarisation visit;
- ‘Jump into Ireland’ travel trade and media blitz in San Diego, San Francisco and Dallas;
- Sales mission to the Middle East (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and India (Mumbai and Delhi);
- ‘Flavours of Ireland’ workshop, targeting long-haul markets through influential UK inbound tour operators;
- An extensive campaign with Norwegian, to promote the Belfast flights from New York (Stewart International Airport) and Providence (Rhode Island), will include a four-page ‘wrap’ on Metro newspapers, email marketing, as well as full-page ads and articles about Belfast and Northern Ireland in Metro newspapers;
- Other co-operative promotions with TripAdvisor, Expedia, Ryanair, Aer Lingus, KLM and Stena Line, as well as long-haul airlines like Qatar Airlines;
- A new guide to Belfast, called Belfast L’Essentiel, will be launched on the Tourism Ireland stand at IFTM (International French Travel Market), the largest travel trade exhibition in France;
- 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 2018; and
- 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:
- TV and radio presenter Aled Jones highlights Northern Ireland to 7.5 million ‘culturally curious’ travellers
Tourism Ireland is teaming up with TV and radio presenter Aled Jones this autumn, to produce a series of videos for Classic FM and Smooth Radio. The films – highlighting Belfast, Dublin, the Causeway Coastal Route and the Wild Atlantic Way – will be unveiled from 18 September and will reach about 7.5 million ‘culturally curious’ holidaymakers across GB, through the Facebook pages of both radio stations, as well as through a bespoke section on classicfm.com and smoothradio.com.
- Targeting 1.4 million Daily Telegraph readers
An article about some of the unique food experiences of Northern Ireland will appear in the Saturday travel section of The Daily Telegraph next weekend (9 September), reaching about 1.4 million readers. This partnership with The Daily Telegraph also includes a specially-created ‘Indulge in Ireland’ hub on The Telegraph website, with lots of articles which are being promoted via online advertising.
- Vevo campaign highlights Belfast to up to 10 million ‘social energisers’
A campaign with Vevo, a leading music and entertainment platform, starring two well-known music acts, will highlight Belfast and Dublin for great city breaks to up to 10 million ‘social energisers’.
- Promoting shoulder and off-season travel to Belfast
Tourism Ireland will partner with Visit Belfast on a number of campaigns this autumn – including a campaign to promote Flybe flights from Manchester and Birmingham, via radio and online ads; a campaign to promote Aer Lingus flights from London, via Spotify and radio ads on stations like KISS London and Capital London; and a campaign with P&O to highlight the Cairnryan to Larne route via press, online and radio ads.
- Online advertising blitz
Tourism Ireland will reach almost 9.5 million ‘culturally curious’ holidaymakers online this autumn – through ads on Facebook and with a 30-second video on websites like telegraph.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, independent.co.uk and msn.com. Tourism Ireland will also reach about 6.7 million ‘social energisers’ between now and the end of the year – through advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
- 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. Celebrity chef Rachel Allen will showcase the culinary delights of Northern Ireland on Channel 4 this autumn; the programme, called Rachel Allen: A Cook’s Adventure, will see Rachel take a culinary road-trip around Northern Ireland, visiting places like Portavogie, the Mountains of Mourne, Enniskillen and Portadown. And Tourism Ireland, in association with Visit Belfast and P&O, will meet and brief influential Scottish journalists and bloggers in Glasgow, at the beginning of October.
- 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 about 459,000 Facebook fans and more than 74,000 Twitter followers in Britain alone (@GoToIrelandGB). And email marketing will target about 160,000 potential holidaymakers around GB 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 air and sea carriers – including Aer Lingus, Flybe, British Airways, easyJet, Stena Line and P&O – is either under way or in the pipeline for this autumn. And, co-operative activity will also take place with leading British tour operators, including Newmarket Holidays, Scenic Car Tours, Greatdays Travel Group and Great Rail Journeys. A joint campaign with SuperBreak (short break specialist) in the Guardian will include articles and reader offers for Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland; Ireland will also be the ‘destination of the month’ in all SuperBreak promotional activity in November.
- Promoting to the influential travel trade
About 25 influential GB coach and group tour operators will take part in a networking event in Belfast, a familiarisation visit to the Causeway Coast and Donegal and a workshop in Westport, in September, where they will meet with local tourism enterprises and negotiate for their 2018 programmes.
- World Travel Market
Tourism Ireland will mount a significant presence at World Travel Market (WTM) in London, in November. Northern Ireland companies attending this year include Visit Belfast, Titanic Belfast, HMS Caroline, Visit Derry, Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Causeway Coastal Route, Giant’s Causeway National Trust, Visit Armagh and The Gobbins.
- Growing business tourism
Corporate meetings and association conferences continue to be the focus of Tourism Ireland’s business tourism promotions in Britain this autumn. In November, ‘Ireland Meets the West End’ (an important B2B event), will take place in London – with about 10 companies from Northern Ireland due to attend.
- ‘Teeing up’ our world-class golf
This week, our world-class golf will be highlighted to 50 of the top clients of Golfbreaks (leading online golf tour operator) at a golf day at Foxhills Club and Resort in Surrey. Co-operative campaigns with two leading online golf tour operators, Your Golf Travel and Golfbreaks, continue this autumn. And online ads will run on key golf websites between now and the end of the year.
- Northern Ireland window installation in Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and Beverly Hills
An exciting new partnership with the iconic Saks Fifth Avenue kicks off on 20 September and will run until 5 October. An eye-catching window installation and in-store displays in the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship locations in New York and Beverly Hills will showcase Northern Ireland. In addition, a double-page spread all about Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland will feature in the Saks Fifth Avenue fall fashion catalogue - which reaches customers in stores, through direct mail and via saks.com. Social media activity – via Saks and Tourism Ireland channels – will also promote Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland.
- Online advertising blitz
Digital campaigns will run in the US (from 18 September until the end of 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 sites like NationalGeographic.com and LonelyPlanet.com, as well as on digital TV. Our campaign targeting younger, ‘social energiser’ holidaymakers will run on various popular lifestyle and travel sites.
And a separate, tactical ad campaign with 28 partners will also kick off on 18 September, 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 November, reaching almost 1.4 million ‘culturally curious’ travellers in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia; ads are running on websites like Canada.com, Forbes.com, TheStar.com and CBC.ca. Tactical advertising with key digital platforms like TravelAlerts and Expedia is also under way, helping to drive sales for key travel partners on the island of Ireland and in Canada. And, a campaign on Facebook will run until December, generating more than 4 million impressions through ads and video content.
- Targeting the Ulster Scots
Tourism Ireland and partners 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 2018. An event for key travel trade and media contacts in Atlanta, in advance of this year’s Games, will also highlight Northern Ireland.
- Publicity spotlight
Influential arts and lifestyle journalists will attend the launch of the 2017 Belfast International Arts Festival in New York on 18 September; the announcement on the joint bid by Belfast City Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council to become the UK’s nominated host city for the European Capital of Culture in 2023 will also be made. The event is being organised by the Northern Ireland Bureau, Tourism Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.
And, Tourism Ireland will highlight Northern Ireland to influential editors and journalists at Visit Europe Media Exchange (VEMEX) in Los Angeles and New York; and will attend Travel Classics West (writers’ conference for editors and journalists from a wide range of high profile publications) in Arizona, in November.
- Social media and email marketing
Over 1.2 million people are following Tourism Ireland on Facebook in the US and over 106,000 in Canada to learn more about Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland also has about 67,000 Twitter followers in the US (@GotoIrelandUS) and over 30,000 followers in Canada (@GoToIrelandCA); and is also targeting younger travellers through Pinterest, with more than 10,000 followers on the photo-sharing site. Tourism Ireland’s email marketing will reach about 170,000 Americans and more than 40,000 Canadians each week this autumn, highlighting partner offers and compelling reasons to visit.
- Travel trade and media blitz in San Diego, San Francisco and Dallas
Tourism Ireland and partners will target hundreds of travel agents in the key cities of San Diego, San Francisco and Dallas (in November), as part of its final ‘Jump into Ireland’ of 2017. 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 companies (including Visit Armagh, Culloden Estate & Spa Culloden Hotel and National Trust – Giant’s Causeway) to promote and sell their product to the key decision-makers they meet in the various cities.
- Promoting to the influential travel trade
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 various airlines serving the island of Ireland from the United States – including Norwegian, Aer Lingus and American – are either under way or in the pipeline. A campaign with Norwegian will roll out in October to drive business in the fall and winter and to kick-start business for 2018. It will include a four-page ‘wrap’ on Metro newspapers, on 24 October, highlighting things to see and do in Belfast and Northern Ireland; it will also include email marketing, as well as full-page ads and articles about Belfast and Northern Ireland in Metro newspapers. Tourism Ireland is also working with leading American tour operators this autumn – including CIE Tours International, Collette Vacations and Great Value Vacations.
And in Canada, Tourism Ireland will partner with airlines that fly to the island of Ireland from Canadian gateways (including Air Canada, Aer Lingus and Air Transat), as well as with leading tour operators (like Royal Irish Tours, Globus, Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, CIE Tours International and Collette).
- 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 Visit Belfast, The Merchant Hotel, Belfast Waterfront and the Culloden Estate & Spa – 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.
AUSTRALIA AND DEVELOPING MARKETS
- Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland will feature on HolidayCheck (a popular German travel website, similar to TripAdvisor) and on Away, the travel magazine section on HolidayCheck, this autumn. Nine different articles will highlight Northern Ireland, the regions of Ireland, food and screen tourism including our Game of Thrones filming locations; and email marketing will reach approximately 300,000 HolidayCheck subscribers.
- WDR 5, a regional radio station with about 800,000 listeners, will visit Northern Ireland later this month, taking in Belfast, Enniskillen and the Marble Arch Caves.
- Journalists from Blinker (angling magazine) will visit Lisnaskea in September.
- Tourism partners (including Visit Derry, National Trust – Giant’s Causeway, The Gobbins, HMS Caroline and the Portrush Atlantic Hotel) 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.
- Tourism Ireland will participate in MICE BOAT 2017 – a MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) promotion with a difference, which takes place on the high seas, sailing from Rostock to Copenhagen and on to Amsterdam. The four-day programme includes one-to-one appointments, presentations and networking events, providing a superb opportunity to highlight Northern Ireland for business tourism to the 50 German MICE operators on board.
- Two ‘Meet in Ireland’ events will also take place, in Hamburg at the end of September and in Köln in mid-December, with 26 German MICE operators due to attend each event.
- Tourism Ireland and DERTOUR Golfclub will promote our world-class golf at three different events in German golf clubs, meeting up to 20 important influencers (including golf club captains, pros and managers) at each event.
- Tourism Ireland will work with Konbini (culture, arts and news website), promoting city breaks in Belfast and Dublin to our ‘social energiser’ audience, via Facebook, Twitter and email marketing.
- A series of five-second ‘teaser’ videos highlighting Belfast and Dublin will go live on 18 September.
- A brand new guide to Belfast, called Belfast L’Essentiel, will be launched on the Tourism Ireland stand at IFTM (International French Travel Market), the largest travel trade exhibition in France.
- Influential French travel journalists will visit Belfast, the Ard Peninsula and our Game of Thrones locations in County Down, in October.
- A business tourism workshop will take place in Paris in November; and a business tourism sales blitz will target MICE buyers in the cities of Paris, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Bordeaux.
- Tourism Ireland and partners will attend ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) in Cannes, in December, meeting influential travel agents and decision-makers working in the luxury travel sector around the world.
- Spain is an important market for late season travel, with 22% of all our Spanish visitors arriving in the off-season or Q4. Tourism Ireland’s digital campaign will promote weekend breaks to Belfast and Dublin to approximately 1.5 million Spanish ‘social energisers’. It kicks off in October and will run for six weeks.A joint online campaign with Aer Lingus will go live in mid-September. Tourism Ireland will also work with Iberia Express, in October – with radio and online ads highlighting good value fares for Spanish travellers to the island of Ireland.
- Co-operative activity with online travel agents (OTAs) will include a TV, outdoor and online campaign with Logitravel (the third largest OTA in Spain) in Madrid and Barcelona; and an online campaign with Rumbo.
- Tourism Ireland will also team up with 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.
- A journalist from Viajeros Magazine (a popular travel magazine) will visit Northern Ireland in September.
- Seven representatives of Special Tours (the largest traditional tour operator in Spain) will also visit Northern Ireland in September; their programme includes Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway and the walled city of Derry.
- Tourism Ireland, together with tourism industry partners (including Titanic Belfast), will participate in TTG Incontri, an important trade fair in Rimini which was attended by about 37,000 Italian travel professionals in 2016.
- A digital video campaign for Belfast and Dublin will reach more than 14 million Italians via Facebook and other online platforms; the campaign also includes two competitions on the Italian version of Ireland.com to win a city break in Belfast and Dublin.
- Co-operative activity with key online travel agents Logitravel and Albatravel, promoting great value offers for Belfast and Dublin directly to consumers, as well as to travel agents around Italy.
- Northern Europe
- A campaign with KLM in the Netherlands will highlight the Amsterdam to Belfast flight, in September; it includes online ads and email marketing to the KLM database. This campaign will also be rolled out in Germany and Scandinavia, targeting holidaymakers there to consider flying to Belfast via Amsterdam.
- A separate campaign, in conjunction with Visit Belfast, will run at the same time as the KLM campaign, with a Belfast app featuring on CityZapper (leading city portal in the Netherlands).
- Top Dutch travel and lifestyle journalists will hear all about Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland at Tourism Ireland’s annual ‘Ierland Press Awards’ in Amsterdam, in November.
- Tourism partners from the island of Ireland will join Tourism Ireland’s networking events in Brussels and Amsterdam, in November – doing business for 2018 with leading Belgian and Dutch tour operators and travel agents.
- Key conference and meetings buyers in Belgium will hear all about our world-class business tourism offering at a networking event in Brussels, in October.
- A group of Scandinavian journalists, with a combined audience of over 250,000 readers, arrives in Northern Ireland tomorrow (5 September); their itinerary includes the Causeway Coastal Route and a fun ‘catch and sea’ experience with Causeway Coast Foodie Tours.
- Tourism Ireland leads sales mission to the GCC and India
Ten tourism companies from the island of Ireland, including the National Trust and Stena Line, will join Tourism Ireland’s sales mission to the United Arab Emirates and India at the end of September. The sales mission will target top travel agents, tour operators and travel journalists – through workshops and networking events – in the cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai (in the UAE) and Mumbai and New Delhi (in India).
- Advertising in Australia to capitalise on ‘early bird’ booking season
Tourism Ireland in Australia will roll out an online and print advertising campaign from 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 beginning of December, keeping Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland ‘front of mind’ for Australians considering a trip to Europe in 2018.
- Publicity spotlight
The Weekend Today show, a hugely popular breakfast TV show which airs on the Nine Network in Australia to about 1.1 million viewers, will broadcast live from Northern Ireland later this month. The broadcast will include a partnership with Globus (tour operator) – with two Globus offers set to appear on screen, encouraging viewers to book a trip to the island of Ireland; and a link on the Nine Network website will direct people to Tourism Ireland’s website, Ireland.com.
In China, Morning Call, a popular TV-style talk show which airs on one of the country’s most influential online video platforms, Youku.com (similar to YouTube) will highlight Northern Ireland to approximately 10 million people, during October. The show is presented by Chinese celebrity and musician Mr Gao Xiaosong, who’s been visiting Northern Ireland over the past few days (including places like Castle Ward, the Causeway Coast, St George’s Market and Crumlin Road Gaol). Mr Gao will chat about the island of Ireland during three 30-minute episodes – covering our food, history, Game of Thrones filming locations, Dublin and Belfast. The three episodes will also be available on Mr Gao’s radio station in The Himalayas, which has over half a million listeners.
- Co-operation with key travel partners
In Australia, Tourism Ireland will partner with Qatar Airlines to highlight ease of access to the island of Ireland, via Qatar’s new Doha to Dublin flight; the campaign will include online, outdoor and radio advertising.
A campaign with Expedia Australia kicked off last week (28 August) and will run until 24 September, targeting our ‘culturally curious’ audience; online ads, Facebook posts and an ad in Expedia’s weekly email marketing to almost 900,000 subscribers are directing people to a dedicated page on the Expedia Australia website.
And, also in Australia, a campaign with International Traveller (magazine) is going live this week and will run for three months. It will include a dedicated section on the International Traveller website with six articles about the island of Ireland, email marketing to the International Traveller database of 32,000 Australian travellers and ads on Facebook.
Tourism Ireland in China and India will also partner with Qatar Airlines: in China a social media campaign is expected to reach more than 500,000 people and, in India, activity with Qatar will reach over 1.2 million people through full-page ads in popular travel magazines Outlook Traveller and National Geographic Traveller, as well as online ads on India’s top news and travel websites and on LinkedIn.
In India, Tourism Ireland and Make My Trip, a leading online travel agent, will roll out a joint digital campaign to promote the Make My Trip packages to the island of Ireland; the campaign is expected to reach more than 3.5 million people.
In the Middle East, Tourism Ireland and Al Naboodah Travel will partner on a digital campaign, promoting the new Al Naboodah Travel programmes to the island of Ireland to about 700,000 people. And Tourism Ireland and Dnata Travel will also roll out a campaign in October, to increase awareness of, and drive sales to the island of Ireland, among their clients; activity will include in-store screen displays promoting packages to the island of Ireland, social media activity, as well as online and radio ads.
- Promoting to the influential travel trade
Eighteen (18) Australian travel agents will visit the island of Ireland later this month; the agents, who took part in a Qatar Airways competition to win a place on this trip, will visit the Causeway Coastal Route, Belfast and Dublin.
In China, Tourism Ireland and Finnair will host three seminars for leading tour operators in Chongqing, to promote winter packages and tours to the island of Ireland. A workshop in Shenzhen will highlight Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland to tour operators in that city.
Tourism Ireland will also promote the island of Ireland to travel agents and journalists in Japan, at the EU Tourism Media and Trade Workshop in Tokyo in October. Fifteen EU member countries will participate in the workshop, which is a joint collaboration between embassies, national tourist boards and JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents).
- A taste of Northern Ireland at ‘Flavours’ workshop 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 UK inbound tour operators come together to do business with tourism organisations from Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland.