Tourism Ireland has announced it will increase its spending by €10 million to €45m next year as it launches its first new global advertising campaign in seven years to help attract more overseas visitors to the island of Ireland. The extra funding is aimed at allowing the tourism body to strengthen its marketing programmes next year as Brexit takes hold.
Record numbers will again be targeted in 2019 and aims to grow overseas tourism revenue by six per cent to €6.5 billion and visitor numbers to 11.67 million, an increase of four per cent. The new global campaign – ‘Fill your Heart with Ireland’ – will launch next month in the US, Britain, France and Germany. From January, it will be rolled out in over 20 markets.
It will include TV, print, out of home, cinema and online ads – as well as content for social platforms. The campaign will feature less visited attractions and locations, such as Sliabh Liag in Donegal, Devenish Island in Fermanagh, Westport House in Co Mayo and Connemara National Park. Created by Publicis and OMD, the ads aim to attract visitors all year round.
Tourism Ireland will also re-develop its entire suite of Ireland.com websites, which attracts over 20 million visits a year, to try and ensure its digital marketing continues to be ‘best in class’. The new tech will also allow Tourism Ireland to re-target visitors and potential visitors with personalised messages and offers, designed to appeal to their specific interests.
In the context of the Government’s Global Ireland 2025 initiative, headed up by Marketer of the Year 2010 John Concannon – Tourism Ireland will implement its US, German, emerging markets and British market growth strategies. It will see operations expand in China, new representation in Hong Kong and in newer markets like Japan around the Rugby World Cup.
Tourism Ireland concedes that 2019 may pose challenges. Ongoing uncertainty around Brexit, which may impact on consumer confidence and, in turn, on outbound travel from Britain and a strong pound will be worries. Competitiveness and value for money will continue to be the focus in Britain. Geo-political issues and a possible hike in oil prices are other concerns.
New access developments for 2019 include Aer Lingus flights from Minneapolis-St Paul and Montreal to Dublin and from Nice to Cork; an American Airlines service from Dallas to Dublin; Ryanair services from Cologne to Ireland West Airport Knock, from East Midlands to Shannon and from Gothenburg to Dublin; and a Norwegian flight from Hamilton (Ontario) to Dublin.
Next year will see 620,000 direct, one-way air seats weekly, up five points on current capacity.