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29 Jan 2020

Tourism Ireland sets its sights on a strong year for tourism to the island of Ireland from North America

~ Tourism Ireland launches 2020 marketing plans in New York ~

Tourism Ireland in the United States launched its marketing plans for 2020 yesterday (Tuesday, 28 January) – at an event in New York attended by leading tour operators, travel agents and journalists from the tri-State area. 

Tourism Ireland aims to surpass the performance of 2019 and to grow revenue from North American visitors by +4% in 2020 i.e. €1.96 billion generated by 2.13 million visitors (+4%). Tourism Ireland will prioritise North America once again in 2020, as a market which offers a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure.

Tourism Ireland’s TV ad – ‘Fill Your Heart With Ireland’ – is now running on major American TV networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco and Hartford. This is phase two of Tourism Ireland’s global campaign, featuring some of our less-visited attractions and locations (including Trim Castle, the Waterford Greenway, EPIC – the Irish Emigration Museum and Rathlin Island). The ad is airing around popular entertainment programmes with large audiences, such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Big Bang Theory; and recently aired around the NFL playoffs and the 62nd annual GRAMMY Awards.

Galway 2020 was showcased at the launch, reminding the influential travel professionals in attendance that the city is European Capital of Culture this year. Tourism Ireland will target its ‘culturally curious’ audience in North America, and elsewhere around the world, highlighting that the island of Ireland offers world-class festivals and cultural experiences in our regions, all year round.

Tourism Ireland’s focus is on driving business to our regions and ensuring the benefits of tourism growth are distributed right around the island of Ireland, on a year-round basis.

Speaking at the launch in New York, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “In 2019, we welcomed over 2 million North American visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of around €1.89 billion for the economy. Looking to the year ahead, we are confident that our strategy will deliver further growth. We are placing a strong focus on spreading overseas tourism business more evenly around the entire island and encouraging more people to visit in the off-season. We look forward to welcoming more of our great friends from North America this year and in the years to come.”

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America and Australia, said: “We have a very clear focus for the year ahead and that is to deliver a +4% increase in visitor numbers and +4% increase in revenue from North America. We will achieve this by working in close collaboration with our Irish and American tourism partners and by rolling out an extensive programme of high impact campaigns and promotions which will target those consumers with greatest potential to travel to the island of Ireland.”

In 2019, we welcomed over 2 million American and Canadian visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €1.89 billion for the economy (+2% on 2018).  
 

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America and Australia; and Elias Manneh, United Airlines, at the New York launch of Tourism Ireland’s 2020 marketing plans.

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 around 325,000 people across the island.
  • In 2019, we welcomed almost 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of around €5.8 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 23+ million visitors in 2019.