Tourism Ireland has revealed details of a new marketing strategy for 2020-2022.
The organisation is aiming to grow overseas tourism revenue and visitor numbers by 13% to €6.54 billion and by 7% to 12 million, respectively, by 2022.
Tourism Ireland is also aiming to spread the benefits of tourism more broadly across the island of Ireland on a year-round basis and address issues of capacity to ensure visitor experiences are world-class.
"Fill Your Heart With Ireland"
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Phase two of Tourism Ireland's "Fill Your Heart With Ireland" global campaign involves a new ad that features less-visited attractions and locations, such as Trim Castle, Waterford Greenway, EPIC – the Irish Emigration Museum and Rathlin Island. From January 2020, the "Fill Your Heart With Ireland" campaign will be rolled out in over 20 markets around the globe.
Transformation Of Digital Platforms
Between 2020 and 2022, Tourism Ireland plans to transform its digital platforms and redevelop its entire suite of Ireland.com websites to ensure that its digital marketing is "best in class" in the 2020s. The organisation intends to use big data and artificial intelligence to reach potential visitors. According to Tourism Ireland, this new technology will also allow it to re-target visitors and potential visitors with personalised messages and offers that are designed to appeal to their specific interests.
Minister for tourism and sport Brendan Griffin stated, "I have been hugely impressed by the hard work and dedication of the Tourism Ireland team at home and overseas during what has been a somewhat challenging year for tourism. While performance in the sector this year has been mixed, we are still in line to see a contribution of well over €5 billion to our economy from overseas tourists in 2019.
"Despite the challenges we have faced this year, we head into 2020 in a relatively strong position. The additional funding made available to Tourism Ireland at the end of 2019 will support accelerated tourism marketing initiatives aimed at mitigating the impacts of Brexit. In Budget 2020, Minister Ross and I secured an allocation of almost €186 million for tourism, up 10% on the 2019 allocation, which puts the sector in a strong position to grow next year.
"Earlier this year, on the recommendation of Minister Ross and I, the government adopted revised performance targets for Irish tourism out to 2025. The primary target is to achieve €6.5 billion in revenue from overseas tourism by 2025. While this is a challenging target, we must seek to reach it in a way that is sustainable. I am glad to see that within Tourism Ireland's plans for next year there is a strong focus on sustainability through spreading our tourism business more evenly around the entire island and encouraging more visitors in the off-season."
Tourism In 2019
According to Tourism Ireland, latest estimates indicate that, by year end, revenue generated by international visitors in 2019 will be approximately €5.78 billion, which is 1.4% less than the figure for last year, with 11.17 million people having visited the island of Ireland.
Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons commented, "In 2019. we've seen a continuing weak trend in Irish tourism, which has been reflected in the feedback from our industry partners, who've been experiencing weaker demand. We've certainly seen the effects of the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit on travel to Ireland, with holidaymakers booking later and reducing their holiday budgets.
"Throughout 2019, 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 €350 million in equivalent advertising value."
"Confident That Overseas Tourism Will Help Communities To Prosper"
Gibbons added, "It is not enough to simply target growth at all costs, and our new three-year strategy is built on a set of sustainable destination marketing principles. These principles will underpin all of Tourism Ireland's activities and are reflected in our renewed emphasis on driving business to the regions and ensuring the benefits of tourism growth are distributed right around the island of Ireland on a year-round basis. By applying these principles and through working with our partners on wider sustainability issues, we are confident that overseas tourism will help communities to prosper while our overseas visitors continue to enjoy a great holiday experience.
"Tourism Ireland will continue to raise awareness of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland's Ancient East around the world. We will highlight inspirational events like 'Taste the Island', Galway 2020 and Púca. Our aim is to spread the success of overseas tourism throughout the year and around the entire island of Ireland, ensuring we maintain our renowned welcome and superb visitor experience."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.