Tourism Ireland in France has launched its marketing plans for 2018, at an event in Paris attended by leading French tour operators, travel agents and travel journalists. Irish Ambassador to France, Patricia O’Brien, addressed the guests attending the launch.
France is one of the top four markets for tourism to Ireland and 2017 was the fifth record-breaking year in a row for French visitors to the country. By the end of this year, approximately 544,000 French residents will have travelled to Ireland, up 4% on 2016.
In 2018, Tourism Ireland aims to grow French visitor numbers by 5%. Factors working in the organisation's favour include excellent access by air and sea and, in particular, the introduction of the new Irish Ferries cruise vessel, the WB Yeats, in July 2018 – which will mean double the current number of sailings between France and Ireland, with daily departures in alternate directions.
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Tourism Ireland's marketing plans for France next year include a major TV advertising campaign, which will kick off in early February and reach up to 20 million potential French holidaymakers on national TV stations France 2 and France 3. The campaign will be supported by digital advertising and co-operative activity with partners such as Irish Ferries, Aer Lingus, Brittany Ferries, Ryanair, easyJet and Transavia.
Tourism Ireland will also ramp up its publicity programme in France – placing increased focus on digital channels and working more closely with online media, including bloggers. Top French tour operators and travel agents, as well as business tourism buyers, will be targeted through sales blitzes, workshops, familiarisation visits to Ireland and a major presence at IFTM (International French Travel Market) in Paris.