Year-round Push to restore growth kicks off in Great Britain

Restoring the Great Britain market to growth is a major priority for us all in 2011 and our biggest, year-round promotional push is under way to make it happen.  Tourism Ireland has increased its marketing spend in Britain by 30% this year.  Our €17/£14 million campaign will ensure our promotional presence is strong right throughout the year. 

Our TV advertising kicks off on 7 March on ITV, Channel 4 and other top channels.  It will be on air right through to June and from August to October.  Our publicity drive will generate positive media coverage for holidays on the island of Ireland worth around €68/£56 million in advertising terms.  It is off to a good start already with programmes like 'Terry Wogan’s Ireland' airing to 8 million viewers recently.

Interest in holidaying here remains strong.  The island of Ireland ranks 7th on the list of places GB holidaymakers wish to visit – a good basis for our promotional drive.  Our message is that there’s never been a better time to visit with great value and terrific things to do and see.  We are promoting city breaks, touring holidays, golf, activities and business tourism – on TV, radio, online as well as through publicity, promotions and on social media.

Below are some highlights of the year-round campaign and I look forward to working with you to turn the market around.  I will write to you again in the coming months to update you on our progress.


Niall Gibbons
Chief Executive


 Highlights of Tourism Ireland’s programme to restore GB to growth in 2011:

  • 17 million potential GB visitors will see our new TV advertising campaign on ITV, Channel 4 and other stations.  It will run from early March to June and from mid-August to October and will convey the fun and friendliness of a holiday here and the great things to do and see.


  • City break campaigns for Dublin City of Words and Belfast City of Music are under way right now through advertising, direct marketing and publicity.  These campaigns will run again in August, September and October with emphasis on festivals, cultural events and on Titanic in the run up to the anniversary in 2012.  Other cities will also feature in cooperative marketing with air and sea carriers to promote value breaks from GB, particularly to regional airports across the island.
  • Regional touring and longer-stay holidays will be a major focus particularly for the summer season.  TV and radio advertising, direct marketing and publicity campaigns will run from March to October, promoting the kind of iconic experiences to be found across the island that mark us as ‘different’ from domestic holidays in GB.
  • Cooperative marketing with air and sea carriers is also a vital element of the campaign.  Investment in co-operative promotional campaigns with air and sea carriers will drive demand for routes to a wide range of national and regional airports and to ferryports. 


  • Over 6 million people in Britain claim Irish ancestry.  Activity to target them will include participation in the 'Who Do You Think You Are' exhibition in London in February; a follow-up to the ‘MyIrish140’ campaign on Twitter and Facebook, which last year attracted posts from
    MC Hammer, Boy George and Graeme McDowell; promotion through Irish-related media and cooperation with the Federation of Irish Societies on their 'How Irish are You?' campaign to encourage people of Irish extraction to record their ethnicity in the forthcoming GB census.

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  • Major sites including the London Eye will go green to mark St Patrick’s Day to focus attention on the destination and our intensive spring marketing drive.  Tourism Ireland will participate in
    St Patrick’s promotions in Glasgow, Birmingham, Cardiff and London and put the island of Ireland in a positive publicity spotlight.  Live broadcasts from the Dublin parade and interviews with Irish celebrities such as Roddy Doyle will be syndicated to national and regional radio and TV channels across GB.
  • Enthusing the GB Travel Trade about island of Ireland holidays and ensuring they promote the good value available here is also a focus in 2011.  Activity will include workshops here for influential Group and Coach Operators, participation in key promotions like the ‘Best of Britain & Ireland Show’ in March and an extensive training programme for up to 1,000 top agents, as well as advertising in selected trade press. 


  • Publicity will generate positive media coverage worth around €65/£56 million, in advertising terms.  Print, broadcast and online media, including prominent bloggers, will be targeted with positive tourism stories.  Advertorials involving Irish celebrities will run on BBC regional and top national radio stations throughout the year, bringing the holiday experience to life.


  • Online marketing throughout the year will target potential holidaymakers with value offers and attractive holiday ideas.  Social media will help spread positive word-of-mouth about the destination and the experience.  More than 32,000 GB Facebook fans and 1,000 Twitter followers keep up to date with holidays here. 
  • Golf:  Tourism Ireland will capitalise on the excellent publicity overseas following the announcement of North & West Coast Links Golf as ‘European Golf Destination of the Year 2011’ and surrounding our top golfers like Pádraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and others in the run up to the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle, Co Meath, this September.  ‘Time to Play’ will be the headline for press, online and radio advertising.  Direct marketing will run in support of cooperative campaigns with Golf Tour Operators.  Industry partners will participate at a special ‘Golf Live’ event at the London Golf Club, at the BMW PGA Golf Championship at Wentworth and at the RICOH Women’s British Open at Carnoustie.


  • The Northern Ireland experience will feature prominently in Tourism Ireland’s marketing in GB in 2011 with particular emphasis on Scotland and the North of England and areas with direct access links.  TV, radio and online advertising and publicity will help bring the Northern Ireland holiday experience to life.  Campaigns with air and sea carriers will highlight good value and ease of access.  Belfast City of Music and Gateway to Northern Ireland, Titanic and Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture will feature in campaigns at different points in the year.  A Northern Ireland trade and media roadshow will be piloted in Glasgow at St Patrick’s Day.


  • Business Tourism:  Association Conferences and Corporate Meetings will be the focus, building on the successful launch of The CCD, which has also brought spin-off benefits for the island as a whole, and on Belfast's Waterfront Hall.  Advertising in specialist corporate publications, email and direct marketing activity, as well as participation at events like Confex in March and Venues & Events in September, will be the mainstay of the campaign.


www.tourismireland.com/industryopportunities.html for information on ways to get involved in
Tourism Ireland's promotions overseas.

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