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Launch of Tourism Ireland’s Marketing Plans 2015

2nd December 2014
Launch of Tourism Ireland’s Marketing Plans 2015

#TourismIrelandPlans - Tourism Ireland's marketing plans to promote Ireland overseas in 2015 and beyond was launched by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe T.D at an event yesterday and attended by tourism industry leaders from around the country.

The organisation aims to build on this year's growth in overseas tourism and to welcome 7.74 million visitors to Ireland in 2015 – surpassing the previous record year of 2007. This figure will represent growth of +6% over 2014 and deliver almost €4 billion to the Irish economy (+7%) next year.

In the longer-term, the aim is to welcome some 10 million visitors to Ireland in 2025, contributing €5 billion to the economy and helping to sustain about 250,000 jobs.

Tourism Ireland sets its sights on record year for Irish Tourism in 2015
• Ambitious targets will see overseas tourism deliver 10 million visitors and €5 billion for Irish economy in 2025

New TV ads – part of Tourism Ireland's global advertising campaign, 'Jump into Ireland' – were also unveiled. The ads will launch in January 2015 in 22 markets around the world – on television, in cinema and online. The soundtrack for the ads is the hit single "Love Like This" by popular Dublin rock band Kodaline.

Building on this year's success and sustaining growth into the future is at the heart of Tourism Ireland's strategy in 2015. The plans will see Tourism Ireland prioritise those markets that offer the best return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and revenue i.e. Britain, North America and Mainland Europe.

Ireland's 'best prospect' visitors will be targeted more closely – with distinctive holiday experiences, events and special offers tailored to their interests and designed to trigger their 'must go now' impulses. Emerging markets of high potential will also be targeted, particularly China and India, where Tourism Ireland will highlight the new British-Irish Visa Scheme.

Important factors working in our favour for 2015 include new access developments; as well as consumer confidence, which is returning in our key source markets. The Ireland 'brand' or image abroad is strong; continued product investment enhances our offering overseas – particularly investment in the Wild Atlantic Way. (see report of launch on

Exchanges rates for sterling and the dollar are favourable; and the lower price of oil will help make air and sea routes more sustainable.

In 2015, Tourism Ireland will continue to leverage its strength in digital and social media. The organisation is now the fourth most popular tourism board in the world on Facebook (about 2.65 million fans), number three on Twitter and number two on YouTube.

Promoting the Wild Atlantic Way will continue to be a major focus of Tourism Ireland's activity around the globe next year; the organisation will also showcase Dubline, the new Dublin Discovery Trail.

Next year marks 150 years since the birth of world-renowned Irish poet and Nobel laureate, WB Yeats, a colossus on the world literary stage and an important figure in the history of our country; Tourism Ireland will promote Yeats 2015 – particularly to its 'culturally curious' audience. And, next year has also been designated ID2015 (the year of Irish design), a showcase of the best of Irish design.

This special year will help raise the profile of Irish design and designers and show how they reflect our unique culture, helping to give us 'stand-out' on the world stage.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Donohoe, said: "The international tourism marketplace is a competitive one so it is crucial that we show no signs of complacency where the increase in our overseas visitor numbers is concerned. We must continue to identify the most effective ways to attract tourists to Ireland, so that we can support the jobs we have in the sector and help create new ones in the future. Government policies, such as reducing the rate of the air travel tax to zero from April 2014 onwards and retaining the reduction of VAT at 9% on tourism-related services in Budget 2015, support this objective. Similarly, the focus we have placed on newer markets, such as China and India, through the introduction of the British-Irish Visa Scheme, encourages visitors from further afield in greater numbers.

"There is a direct correlation between tourism growth and good connectivity. The expansion of ferry services on the Irish Sea provided a major boost for tourism in 2014 and the promise of further expansion of air services in 2015 bodes well for the future. Continuing to offer distinctive holiday experiences that are tailored to specific markets, such as golfers and adventure tourists, will also help keep us ahead of the game. Building on the success of the Wild Atlantic Way, developing a branding model for Dublin through the recently established Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance and developing a unifying tourism proposition for the south and east region will ensure that all parts of Ireland benefit from our tourism marketing strategy.

I am always delighted to lend my support to the promotional efforts of all of our tourism agencies in the work that they do. And I am committed to the continuation of that support throughout 2015 and beyond."

2014 Performance

Latest estimates indicate that, by year end, 7.3 million people will have visited Ireland in 2014, representing an +8.8% increase over 2013, with growth recorded from all market areas. Revenue generated by international visitors is expected to be approximately €3.7 billion, +10.9% increase over last year. Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: "2014 is set to be another record year for visitor numbers from North America, Germany, France and Spain, as well as from our long-haul markets.

Throughout the year, Tourism Ireland undertook a packed programme of promotions, to bring Ireland to the attention of travellers everywhere. Thousands of opportunities were created for potential visitors around the world to read, hear or watch positive messages about Ireland; Tourism Ireland estimates that this media exposure is worth an estimated €280 million in equivalent advertising value."

2015 and Beyond

Tourism Ireland's targets for 2015 will see Ireland welcome 7.74 million visitors, representing growth of +6% over 2014. Commenting on the year ahead, Niall Gibbons said: "Following a successful 2014, ambitious targets have been set for 2015 and beyond. We will continue to place a major focus on promoting the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as on Dubline (the Dublin Discovery Trail). We will promote specific themes, including ID2015 and Yeats 2015. And we will highlight the new British-Irish Visa Scheme in China and India, which will enable Chinese and Indian visitors to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa of either country."

Access developments for 2015 include a new Aer Lingus flight from Washington DC to Dublin, a new United Airlines flight from Chicago, a new Transavia service from Paris, as well as other new air routes like a Finnair service from Helsinki and SAS flight from Gothenburg in Sweden.

Published in News Update
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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