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04 Nov 2019

Visitors across the world invited to Embrace Northern Ireland’s Giant Spirit

New tourism brand for Northern Ireland launched at World Travel Market in London

Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland have launched a new destination brand that will be used to promote Northern Ireland on the island of Ireland and internationally, with the aim of increasing visitor numbers and ensuring economic impact across all regions. Northern Ireland – Embrace A Giant Spirit will communicate a high quality experience to visitors that is recognisable as distinctively Northern Irish.  

Tourism NI worked with some of Northern Ireland’s finest talent in the production of the brand. The logo was designed by internationally acclaimed, Northern Ireland based artist, Colin Davidson, with Pulitzer prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon and Oscar-nominated cinematographer Seamus McGarvey also involved in creative content and production. 

The brand comprises two important concepts. Firstly, a land built by a Giant Spirit which reflects consumer research and feedback that Northern Ireland is perceived as warm, engaging and big-hearted. It is a land built by pioneers and entrepreneurs with a rich cultural history, reflected through words, music and craft and woven together by a unique elemental beauty. The second concept is an invitation to awaken your spirit based on what is known about what visitors seek out in Northern Ireland, namely, embracing the culture and heritage, connecting, discovering and refreshing. 

Today’s launch marks the start of a ten-year journey to support the tourism industry and local economy by developing new authentic experiences that can be promoted to the travel trade and to consumers throughout the world.  

Tourism NI tested a number of brand options within core markets – Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Great Britain, France, Germany and the USA – and Northern Ireland - Embrace a Giant Spirit emerged as the most popular and compelling proposal reflecting Northern Ireland’s history, culture and people.

Commenting on the new brand, Tourism NI Chief Executive John McGrillen said: “Tourism is a fiercely competitive, global industry and it is crucial that Northern Ireland has prominence both on the island of Ireland, and internationally. We want to transform how prospective visitors perceive our destination and ensure that we deliver on their expectations when they get here.

“Northern Ireland – Embrace a Giant Spirit is an opportunity and an invitation to create economic uplift for everyone involved in tourism, in all parts of Northern Ireland. It will build on the strengths and successes of the last decade to give authentic experiences provided by businesses large and small that will leave our visitors with unforgettable memories. 

“This is a new approach to promoting Northern Ireland tourism that has been tested in our key international markets and roundly endorsed by our industry. I am delighted to join with our partners in Tourism Ireland, who will be responsible for international brand roll out, to launch our own invitation to the world at World Travel Market 2019, the biggest and most prestigious show for the global travel industry.”

Speaking at the launch, Shane Clarke, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Corporate Services, Policy & Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted to launch Northern Ireland – Embrace A Giant Spirit with Tourism NI to the international travel trade at World Travel Market, the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar. 

“Overseas tourism delivers around £560 million per year for the Northern Ireland economy, helping to sustain valuable employment in local communities. We are confident that this new brand will help give Northern Ireland real ‘stand-out’ on the international stage and will deliver a significant boost to the tourism economy over the coming years. In 2020, Tourism Ireland looks forward to unveiling Northern Ireland - Embrace A Giant Spirit in our key markets around the world and will roll out an extensive programme of trade, media and consumer communications. Our message is that there has never been a better time to visit Northern Ireland.”

World Travel Market takes place annually in London and is the world’s biggest business to business event for the travel trade resulting in £3 billion in contracts. The Tourism Ireland stand is a key sales and promotional platform for Northern Ireland tourism businesses seeking introductions to buyers across the globe.

Following regional workshops, local authority consultation and stakeholder engagement, a range of experiences has been selected to bring the brand to life in the first phase of roll-out. On the list are established Northern Ireland attractions such as Titanic Belfast, more recent arrivals including Seamus Heaney HomePlace and great experiences such as Toast the Coast Food Tours and Erne Water Taxis.   

Tourism in Northern Ireland has grown over the past decade into a £1 billion industry.  Tourism NI is projecting a doubling of tourism revenue by 2030.   
  Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Head of GB; artist Colin Davidson; and John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI, at the launch of ‘Northern Ireland – Embrace a Giant Spirit’.

Previous Press Release

03 Nov 2019

French TV crew checks out Northern Ireland