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Irish Open – a Global Showcase for Tourism

Dear Industry Colleague,

Golf is the world’s largest sports-related travel market and the Irish Open at Royal Portrush next weekend offers another wonderful opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland across the world.

Tourism Ireland has been working hard to capitalise on this historic event, by highlighting the world-class golf on offer here, as well as promoting the wider holiday experience.

Hundreds of visiting broadcasters and golf media will cover the event and other influential lifestyle and travel media will also attend as will some key influencers from the world of travel
and tourism.  This will help to bring news of the new, vibrant Northern Ireland to tens of millions of potential holidaymakers in markets overseas.

Attached are highlights of our very extensive Irish Open promotional campaigns in GB, the US and other key markets.

Here’s to a great weekend of golf and a lasting legacy of positive perceptions across the world. 

Niall Gibbons

Chief Executive


Irish Open – a Global Showcase for Northern Ireland and Golf
425 million households across the world tune in 


Rory Golf Quote

A massive 425 million households across the world are expected to tune into the Irish Open this weekend on satellite and cable TV, according to Royal Portrush.  This will include an estimated 60 million households via Sky Sports alone. Tourism Ireland has been maximising every opportunity to promote this historic event in GB, the US, Germany, Sweden and other markets.  Here are some of the highlights of our Irish Open campaigns: 

14 Million Americans see NI Golf Ads
10.5 million American golf fans saw Tourism Ireland’s new 60-second ads for Northern Ireland golf when they tuned in to watch the US Open and other big tournaments on the popular Golf Channel.  A further 3.6 million saw the ads online on  Millions of Canadian golf enthusiasts also saw the ‘Home of Champions’ campaign in promotions with Canada’s leading golf media group SCOREgolf.

Our coverage on the Golf Channel also included interviews with Rory and Graeme McDowell  presented by Northern Ireland-born broadcaster, David Feherty.  These aired three times each this spring.


Alliss in Wonderland
Earlier this month, Tourism Ireland invited legendary golf commentator Peter Alliss to Northern Ireland, to record footage at some of our iconic golf courses – including Royal Portrush, Royal Co Down, Holywood, Dungannon and Darren Clarke’s Golf Academy at Greenmount, Co Antrim. The footage has been distributed to TV networks in the US and GB for airing in the run-up to and during the Irish Open.


Millions read all about it
A series of ads and advertorials highlighting the Irish Open, Royal Portrush and our top golfers have been seen by up to 10 million potential holidaymakers in Great Britain, in newspapers such as The Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Herald (Scotland), and magazines such as Bunkered.  A supplement in Scottish provincial newspapers also promoted the Open.  Print ads with the headline ‘Northern Ireland – Home of Champions and, now, the world’s #1 golfer’ ran in the popular Golfweek (165,000) and GolfWorld (130,000) magazines following Rory McIlroy’s ascension to the world’s number one spot.  


World media and Travel VIPs fly in
In addition to the hundreds of accredited golf and specialist media visiting Northern Ireland this weekend for the Open, over 30 top golf, travel and lifestyle media from markets including GB, the US, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Nordics, the UAE and India are in Northern Ireland at the invitation of Tourism Ireland and the NITB to attend the Irish Open and sample the wider Northern Ireland holiday experience for themselves. 

A hand-picked group of key influencers from the world of travel is also visiting to see Northern Ireland at its best.  These include senior executives from top international airlines, travel companies, tour operators and business tourism specialists.

Teeing up the Open at top golf events
The Irish Open featured strongly in promotions by Tourism Ireland and Northern Ireland industry partners at top golf events around the world including the PGA Golf Merchandising Show in Orlando, the US Masters in Augusta, the US Open in California, Golf Live at the London Golf Club in Kent, the BMW PGA Golf Championship at Wentworth and many others.


Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose promotions
1.75 million packs of celebrity chef Paul Rankin’s bread promoted Northern Ireland golf to shoppers in Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose supermarkets this spring with a competition to win a trip to the Irish Open at Royal Portrush. 

Social Media
Social media has played a big role in promoting the Irish Open: Tourism Ireland currently has over 818,000 Facebook fans worldwide (making us number three in the world after Australia and Spain). Messages have been posted regularly in the run-up to the Irish Open encouraging fans to compete for a trip to the event.  The competition also featured on Going for Golf as well as on the golf page of our website.


One million subscribers also received two Northern Ireland ‘Home of Champions’ e-blasts this spring in the US and ezines and eblasts where sent to golf enthusiasts in top markets across the world. 

STOP PRESS :  6.5 Million Americans Vote Royal County Down Number One
Royal County Down Golf Club has been voted number one in a new poll in US Golf magazine Golf Digest. The poll ranks eight island of Ireland golf courses in the world's top 100 courses outside America, confirming Ireland’s reputation as a top global golf destination. Royal Portrush, came in at number 13.



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