This week the Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin TD, visited London on her first overseas promotion visit with Tourism Ireland. This is the first major in-person series of events undertaken by Tourism Ireland to promote Ireland since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Marking the reopening of travel from Great Britain to Ireland, Minister Martin’s programme will include a number of tourism and cultural engagements.
Great Britain is an important market for tourism to the island of Ireland, which pre-COVID, delivered 42% of all overseas visitors and around 25% of all overseas tourism revenue. In 2019, Ireland welcomed almost 4.8 million British visitors to the island of Ireland, whose visits generated around €1.45 billion in revenue.
In 2019 – 4.8m British Visitors to Ireland
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, said: “Because of the pandemic, this is my first opportunity to work with Tourism Ireland overseas and I am very pleased to contribute.
That Great Britain is my first stop is testament to the commitment we have to such an important market. The industry has been in survival mode since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and Government support has been critical in this. However, with our latest reopening plan, I believe we can start to look towards recovery.
“With this in mind I am delighted to announce that Tourism Ireland have activated the Green Button campaign and it will launch on 1 October in Great Britain. The key message is that we cannot wait to roll out the green carpet and welcome back visitors from our near neighbours in Great Britain.”
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Minister Martin is joining us overseas for the first time in London this week, to mark the reopening of travel from Great Britain to Ireland.
“Key priorities to ensure success will include rebuilding consumer confidence; as well as air and sea connectivity, which is vital as an island destination. Tourism Ireland, together with our tourism industry partners from around the island of Ireland, will participate in a number of significant events in Great Britain.
They include World Travel Market 2021, Flavours of Ireland 2021 and Ireland Meets GB. These upcoming events will allow our partners to highlight and sell their product to key contacts in Great Britain – encouraging them to feature Ireland in their 2022 holiday and tour programmes.
We will also roll out our new ‘Green Button’ campaign in Britain, which is a €4.6 million multi-media promotional campaign that will be seen by millions of people across Britain. It aims to generate awareness of the island of Ireland and drive bookings for short breaks and holidays in Ireland, between now and the end of 2021. Our key message is that we cannot wait to roll out the green carpet and welcome back visitors from Great Britain.”
The ‘Green Button’ campaign:
- Tourism Ireland will roll out its new ‘Green Button’ campaign in Britain, from 1 October. It will be a €4.6 million, multi-media promotional campaign, which will run until 5 December and will be seen by millions of people across Britain. The campaign objective is to generate awareness of the island of Ireland and drive bookings for short breaks and holidays in Ireland, between now and the end of 2021. It will include:
- advertising on TV and video-on demand (which will reach 17 million people)
- outdoor advertising (will reach 7.4 million people)
- digital advertising (will reach 21 million people)
- social advertising (will reach 25 million people)
Social media and email marketing:
Tourism Ireland has an engaged following of over 519,000 Facebook fans around Britain; and over 84,500 Twitter followers. Email marketing will reach about 78,000 potential British holidaymakers each week this autumn, highlighting great value offers from our industry partners and instilling urgency to book.
Co-operative marketing with key travel partners:
- Co-operative campaigns with our key travel partners in Britain will be rolled out; these are designed to communicate a tactical message to drive bookings. They include campaigns with carriers, including Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Irish Ferries, Stena Line, British Airways, Loganair; and with online travel agents, including TripAdvisor, Secret Escapes, Travelzoo, Skyscanner, Expedia, Culture Trip and Lastminute.com. All campaigns include an attractive lead price, to highlight our value-for-money message.
- Tourism Ireland’s extensive publicity drive this autumn will target national and regional print, broadcast and online media and influencers throughout Britain, with positive stories about the island of Ireland – incorporating regionality and seasonality messages.
- Tourism Ireland has invited influential travel, culture and lifestyle journalists to visit, including National Geographic Traveller, The Telegraph, Mail on Sunday and the Financial Times.
- This week (6-12 September), celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna is filming a series of segments for ITV’s This Morning show in counties Cork and Kerry. These will air during September and October to an audience of approximately 2 million viewers across Britain.
- Another broadcast project in the pipeline is Voices of Ireland hosted by Imelda May, which is due to air on Sky Arts this autumn.
Promotions on social media with celebrity influencers:
- Tourism Ireland has been working with some of Ireland’s best-known celebrities in Britain – including people like Vogue Williams, Laura Whitmore, Dermot O’Leary and DJ Annie Mac. They’ve been posting on social media about Ireland – helping to keep our target audience dreaming about future holidays here. This activity will continue until mid-September. To date, the influencers have posted over 20 times, generating more than 180,000 likes.
World Travel Market 2021:
- Tourism Ireland will have a presence at World Travel Market (WTM) in London, the largest B2B event in the global tourism calendar, which takes place in November. This year, it will be a hybrid event, with the physical event taking place in ExCel London on 1-3 November; and a virtual event taking place on 8-9 November.
- Around 75 tourism companies from the island of Ireland will participate.
Co-operation with the British travel trade:
- The coach and group travel sector is a key focus for Tourism Ireland in Britain, given this sector’s role in delivering visitors who stay longer and travel to more regions across the island.
- Tourism Ireland is working with leading British tour operators, including Just Go Holidays, Shearings, Leger Holidays and Glenton Holidays; our co-operative campaigns include print and online advertising, direct marketing and social media.
Business tourism promotions:
- Tourism Ireland will also target the association conferences and corporate meetings sector. Activity includes a virtual Ireland showcase event – Ireland Meets GB – on 9 September, with 25 island of Ireland industry partners meeting with 25 British event agencies and corporate meeting planners.
- Tourism Ireland and partners will attend the BMW PGA Championship Wentworth this week (9-12 September); around 200,000 British golf enthusiasts are expected to attend.
Targeting the Diaspora:
- Tourism Ireland will partner with two leading Diaspora newspapers in Britain, The Irish Post and The Irish World.