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20 Aug 2019

Tourism Minister Shane Ross launches Tourism Ireland’s €12M autumn campaign

~ Autumn promotional blitz targets late-season travellers around the world ~

Tourism Ireland and Tourism Minister Shane Ross TD have launched a €12 million, multi-media autumn campaign, to boost late-season travel to Ireland from around the world. The September to December period usually yields as much as 30% of our annual overseas tourism business. A key objective for Tourism Ireland is to drive more overseas tourism business to our regions, throughout the off-peak and shoulder season months.
  • Addressing the challenges of Brexit
Brexit remains an ongoing challenge for Irish tourism – giving rise to consumer concern, particularly in Britain and some Mainland European countries. The fall in the value of sterling has made holidays here more expensive for British visitors – and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top markets. Therefore, attractive offers for good value fares and packages are a major focus for Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign – in Britain and in other markets. An extensive programme of co-operative promotions with air and sea carriers, online travel agents, as well as traditional tour operators and travel agents, is either under way or in the pipeline.
  • Major focus on off-peak travel to the regions of Ireland
Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign will incorporate a major focus on attracting visitors to more rural areas and our less visited attractions and locations, between now and the end of 2019. It will highlight the many reasons to come here – including festivals and events taking place over the coming months like the new Púca Festival, the Galway International Oyster Festival, Belfast International Arts Festival, Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, Savour Kilkenny, Cork Jazz Festival, Wexford Festival Opera and New Year Festival (NYF) Dublin.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, said: “I’m delighted to support the launch of Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign and I welcome its focus on achieving growth through a greater regional and seasonal spread of visitors. Developing the industry in this manner will help to ensure that it continues to grow in a manner that is sustainable, from an environmental, economic and social perspective. I am pleased to see that the recently launched ‘Taste the Island’ initiative features strongly in this campaign, which, in addition to the variety of festivals and events being hosted throughout the island of Ireland, will attract more visitors from our main target markets. This campaign will also see our participation in the Rugby World Cup being leveraged to promote Ireland in Japan. It is essential that we continue to promote and expand our tourism offering around the world in the face of challenges such as Brexit and other international economic uncertainties. I believe that this autumn campaign will be successful in promoting late-season travel to Ireland and that it will underpin continued growth in tourism for the remainder of the year.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “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 really good opportunity, with many world-class festivals and events happening right around the island. One of our key objectives is to drive more business to our regions, right throughout the off-peak and shoulder season months.
“Brexit, and the drop in the value of sterling, remains an ongoing challenge, giving rise to consumer concern particularly in Britain and some Mainland European markets. We will continue to monitor the situation closely with our industry colleagues.
“Tourism Ireland’s publicity drive continues this autumn – targeting print, broadcast and online media around the world with lots of positive stories about Ireland. We continue to work hard to maximise the success of winter air and sea routes. We will promote the island of Ireland through our sales missions to the United States, Canada and the UAE. In addition, Tourism Ireland will bring top overseas travel agents and tour operators to the island of Ireland this autumn, to meet with hundreds of tourism businesses here and negotiate inclusion in their 2020 brochures and programmes.”
Tourism Ireland’s autumn campaign is being rolled out in North America, Mainland Europe, Britain, Australia and emerging tourism markets.
Tourism Minister Shane Ross; Rishika Korada (from San Francisco); Joan O’Shaughnessy, Chairman of Tourism Ireland; Avantika Tiwari (from India); and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s Autumn Campaign 2019.

Notes To Editors

  • Taste the Island international launch with celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna: Tourism Ireland will undertake an extensive programme of activity around the world to highlight the exciting new Taste the Island initiative. For example:
    • On 7 September, Tourism Ireland will launch Taste the Island in Britain with celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna. Clodagh will create a special ‘harvest lunch’ in the grounds of her home, Broadspear House in Highclere Park; leading British food writers and influencers, as well as broadcast journalists, will attend.
    • The French launch of Taste the Island will take place in Lyon, often referred to as the gastronomic capital of France, also in September.
    • And, 12 top tour operators from Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Belgium and the Netherlands will participate in a ‘Taste the Island’ fact-finding ‘foodie’ visit, in October.
  • Fill Your Heart With Ireland: Tourism Ireland’s ‘Fill Your Heart With Ireland’ campaign continues to roll out around the world this autumn. The campaign is back on TV, on catch-up TV sites, in cinemas, in prominent outdoor locations, as well as on digital and social platforms – reaching millions of potential visitors in our major markets.
  • Dialling up the value message: an extensive programme of co-operative promotions with air and sea carriers – including Aer Lingus, Irish Ferries, Ryanair, United Airlines, British Airways, Flybe, P&O Ferries, Brittany Ferries, Qatar Airlines and easyJet – will highlight ease of access to Ireland and attractive fares for autumn and winter.
  • Leveraging the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in the US: American College football is set to return to Ireland in 2020 – for the first time in four years. It will be a five-game series, with the first game involving Navy taking on Notre Dame at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on 29 August. Once this year’s college football season kicks off again in the US, in September, Tourism Ireland will take every opportunity to leverage the tourism benefits of the games at the Aviva Stadium. A video ad for Ireland will run on big screens at all Notre Dame and Navy games; other activity will include ads in game programmes and radio ads – encouraging fans, friends and alumni to come to Ireland for the games and to extend their stay here, before or afterwards.
  • Capitalising on the Rugby World Cup in Japan: the island of Ireland will be promoted to key Japanese tour operators, travel agents and travel journalists at two events – a reception in the residence of the Irish Ambassador in Tokyo on 27 September; and an event in Fukuroi, in advance of the Ireland v Japan match, on 28 September. 
  • Focus on Ireland’s Ancient East in France: an extensive outdoor ad campaign will promote Ireland’s Ancient East to French holidaymakers, with a new video running on more than 300 digital screens in busy train stations, metro stations and outside travel agencies around Paris.
  • Northern Ireland showcase in Bayeux: Tourism Ireland’s hand-crafted Game of Thrones Tapestry is travelling to Bayeux in Normandy, home of the world-famous 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry, this autumn. The Game of Thrones Tapestry will go on display near its historic counterpart – which was a key source of inspiration for its new neighbour. Tourism Ireland will take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on Northern Ireland and our strong connection with the hugely popular TV series. On 13 September, on the opening day of the exhibition, Tourism Ireland will organise a press conference and Northern Ireland showcase event in Bayeux; around 100 French and international journalists are expected to attend.
  • Sales blitzes to the US and Canada: Tourism Ireland will target hundreds of travel agents on the west coast of the US – in Seattle, San Diego and San Fernando Valley; and in Canada – in London (south-west Ontario), Ottawa and Montreal.
  • Highlighting ‘Luxury Ireland’: Tourism Ireland will showcase our luxury tourism offering at various promotions and events – including ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) in Cannes, the Private Luxury Forum (PLF) in Montenegro, a luxury sales mission to the UAE and a showcase event in Paris for luxury French travel buyers.
  • Flavours of Ireland: a B2B workshop will target business from our long-haul markets through influential UK-based inbound tour operators.
  • World Travel Market 2019: Tourism Ireland will mount a significant presence at World Travel Market (WTM) in London, the largest B2B event in the global tourism calendar; around 70 tourism companies from the island of Ireland will attend.