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18 Sep 2017

Tourism Ireland announces new Head of Strategy & Insights

Tourism Ireland has announced the appointment of Neil Aulton as Head of Strategy & Insights. Neil will be responsible for Tourism Ireland’s extensive research programme, for market intelligence and analysis which will inform the organisation’s corporate strategy and the development of world-class marketing programmes. This research will also provide depth and breadth of insight to support the wider tourism industry and island of Ireland policy-makers. 

Neil has more than 20 years’ experience in strategic planning and market and consumer research. Most recently, he was Managing Director of Strategy & Planning for Future Thinking, a UK market research consultancy engaged in a wide range of research – including customer experience, stakeholder management, communications and branding research. For much of his career Neil has been involved in the transport, travel and tourism sectors, which has included responsibility for official tourism statistics for both VisitBritain and Nielsen New Zealand.

Commenting on the appointment, Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said: “I am delighted to welcome Neil Aulton to Tourism Ireland and this key strategic role, following an extensive external competition. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in strategic planning and research and a very strong track record of achievement. He takes up this important role of Head of Strategy & Insights at an exciting and challenging time, as we seek to build on the success of a number of record years for overseas tourism to the island of Ireland.” 

Neil said: “This is a fantastic role and an exciting opportunity. I look forward to playing my part in continuing to grow overseas tourism to the island of Ireland and to working closely with our partners, and the great Tourism Ireland team already in place, to help deliver growth.”

Neil takes up his new post on 9 October 2017.

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 larirelgest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 281,000 people across the island.
  • In 2016, we welcomed approximately 10.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.3 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 19.37 million visitors in 2016.