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03 Mar 2022

Tourism Ireland unveils 2022 marketing plans in New York

Premiere of new giant-screen film ‘Ireland’ in NYC

Tourism Ireland in the United States unveiled its marketing plans for 2022 yesterday (Wednesday, 2 March) – at an event in New York attended by leading tour operators, travel agents and journalists from the tri-State area.  

Guests also attended the premiere of an exciting new giant-screen documentary film, called Ireland, at the AMC Lincoln Square IMAX Theatre – home to the largest IMAX screen in North America. Narrated by Liam Neeson, the film was produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films and is sponsored by Tourism Ireland. Ireland celebrates our rich history, culture, arts and music, as well as our spectacular scenery. 

This year, Tourism Ireland will roll out its biggest ever programme of promotions in the United States, to restart overseas tourism to the island of Ireland. Following a devastating two years for the tourism and travel sector, the programme will allow Tourism Ireland to upweight its campaigns, punch through the noise and convert ‘lookers’ to ‘bookers’, in order to save businesses and create jobs. Tourism Ireland’s message is that Ireland is open for business again and we cannot wait to welcome back our American visitors. 

Speaking at the event in New York, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “As we restart overseas tourism to the island of Ireland, we are rolling out our biggest ever programme of promotions in the all-important United States market this year. We know from our research that there is significant pent-up demand among travellers to return to the island of Ireland as soon as possible. However, we also know that there is significant competition in the marketplace; every destination has experienced the impact of COVID-19 and is now seeking its share of the recovery. Our campaigns will therefore need to punch through the noise and create an immediate desire to visit.”

Tourism Ireland’s Green Button campaign went live in the United States last week. The US$8.5 million campaign is running in key gateway cities and priority areas (including New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas), to reach and engage audiences with the highest potential to travel to Ireland. Green Button ads will be seen on air and online, on major television networks ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, around popular programmes with large audiences. Ads are also running on leading streaming services like Hulu, WarnerMedia, YouTube TV, Sling TV and Discovery+. The TV and digital campaign will reach an estimated 92 million people and will deliver over 600 million impressions (opportunities to see) this year. 

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America and Australia, said: “We are rolling out our Green Button campaign in the United States right now – urging travellers to ‘press the Green Button’ and book their trip to the island of Ireland this year. Our extensive programme of high impact campaigns and promotions is targeting those consumers with the great potential to travel to Ireland. Our message is very simple: Ireland is open for business again and we cannot wait to welcome back visitors from the United States. We’re telling prospective US visitors that a warm welcome awaits them when they travel to Ireland, despite the disruption of the last couple of years.”

Before COVID-19, in 2019, we welcomed 1.7 million American visitors to the island of Ireland, whose visits delivered revenue of €1.6 billion for the economy.  
  Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland; Gabe Saglie, Travelzoo; and Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America and Australia, at the New York launch of Tourism Ireland's 2022 marketing plans.

Notes To Editors

Other highlights of Tourism Ireland’s extensive programme of activity in the United States this year include:

  • Three bursts of TV advertising, which will run from February to April, to drive bookings for high season travel; during June and July, to highlight Ireland for holidays in the autumn; and in December, to position us well for 2023. Overall, the TV ad campaign alone will deliver 180 million impressions (opportunities to see). 
  • Partnerships with leading travel websites like Travelzoo, Travel Spike, Dunhill Travel Deals and ShermansTravel – presenting attractive Ireland vacation packages aimed at turning more ‘lookers’ into ‘bookers’.
  • Co-operative campaigns with airlines serving Ireland, including Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Delta and United.
  • Promotions to engage the important Diaspora audience in the United States, which will focus on building urgency to begin planning their vacation and getting back to the things that matter most – reconnecting with family and friends and enjoying the very best of Ireland, including our food, culture, heritage and, of course, the craic. 
  • A new Tourism Ireland partnership with Riverdance, as part of the Riverdance 25th Anniversary Tour in the United States and Canada this year. The tour is set to include over 120 performances in at least 40 cities. The partnership will include an inspirational video about Ireland playing on screen to audiences before each of the performances – reaching around 310,000 people. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s extensive publicity drive will continue throughout 2022, targeting print, broadcast and online media outlets and influencers across the United States, with positive stories about the island of Ireland. 
  • Tourism Ireland will take every opportunity to leverage the Aer Lingus College Football Classic for Irish tourism – with Northwestern University set to take on the University of Nebraska on 27 August, at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Around 18,000 American fans and 5,000 European fans are expected to travel for ‘game week’ in Dublin. It is expected to generate approximately €63 million for the Irish economy. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s partnership with the University of Notre Dame Athletics will run until May 2022. The collaboration offers Tourism Ireland an opportunity – with Ireland named the “official travel destination of Notre Dame Athletics” – to capitalise on the strong Irish heritage of the University of Notre Dame’s alumni and fans; and to showcase Ireland to them as a ‘must visit’ holiday destination. 
  • After two years of virtual events, Tourism Ireland is getting back to live, in-person sales missions again in 2022. Its ‘Best of Ireland’ programme in the United States will kick off at the end of April, with 15 tourism companies from Ireland meeting hundreds of high-end travel agents in Boston, New York, Washington DC and Chicago. A similar event will visit the west coast of the US in May, taking in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
  • Tourism Ireland is targeting influential American tour operators and travel agents, to enthuse them and provide lots of great reasons for their clients to visit the island of Ireland in 2022. A programme of co-operative promotions is under way with top American tour operators, such as DH Enterprise & Associates, Collette and Journeys Connect. 
  • Tourism Ireland will have a presence at travel and adventure shows in Boston and Los Angeles, in March.
  • Golf’s Greatest Holes, a golf TV show hosted by Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and BBC presenter Chris Hollins, will begin airing on NBC’s GolfPass (subscription service), on 8 March. The six-part TV series will showcase our spectacular scenery and will follow Paul and Chris as they play some of our top golf courses. The series first aired last autumn on Sky Sports in Britain.
  • Tourism Ireland’s annual broadcast and digital sponsorship with the hugely popular NBC Golf Channel will kick off in April 2022, around the broadcast of the US Masters. Promotional activity to highlight our world-class golf will also be aligned with the broadcast of other Major championships and priority tournaments during the year, including the PGA Championship, US Open, The 150th Open at St Andrews and the Irish Open.