General Industry

Tourism Ireland Makes Major Tourism Push At World Travel Market 2019

By Dave Simpson
Tourism Ireland Makes Major Tourism Push At World Travel Market 2019

Tourism Ireland kicked off a major tourism push for 2020 on November 4 as 80 Irish tourism businesses joined the organisation at this year's World Travel Market (WTM) event in London.

The World Travel Market B2B event plays host to approximately 51,000 travel professionals from 182 countries and regions around the world.

Heightened Risk Of Consumers Postponing Holidays

According to recent research undertaken by Tourism Ireland, there is currently a heightened risk of consumers postponing holidays due to the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit and, consequently, Tourism Ireland believes that World Travel Market has never been more important for Irish tourism than it is this year.

In response to the Brexit challenge for Irish tourism, the government allocated an additional €6 million to Tourism Ireland in Budget 2020.

Tourism Ireland will use this additional funding for new end-of-year promotional campaigns designed to deliver a message of reassurance to prospective visitors in Britain and around the world.


New campaigns and activity will include an amplification of Tourism Ireland's Q4 "Fill Your Heart with Ireland" campaign in Britain; a five-week TV campaign on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Minneapolis, Denver and Boston as well as TV ads in New York, San Francisco and Seattle during the final week of 2019; a TV campaign that will run from December 23-31 in Germany; a TV campaign that will kick off in France mid-December along with a digital video campaign; and digital "Fill Your Heart with Ireland" campaigns in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries between Christmas and New Year's Day.

RedC Research

According to Tourism Ireland, recent research carried out by RedC on behalf of Tourism Ireland in Britain, France and Germany revealed that 30% of British people are planning to book their holidays later than they normally would, which is twice the amount of people who said the same thing in 2017; 15% of British travellers plan to take fewer short breaks outside the UK in the next 12 months, versus 10% two years ago; more than half of the British people surveyed plan to spend less while on holiday because of the weaker pound; 17% of those surveyed in Germany said that they are less likely to visit the Republic of Ireland while 25% said that they are less likely to visit Northern Ireland; and 13% of those surveyed in France said that they are less likely to visit the Republic of Ireland while 17% said that they are less likely to visit Northern Ireland.

"An Extremely Important Market"

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons stated, "World Travel Market has perhaps never been more important for us than it is this year. So, the record number of Irish tourism companies attending this year is extremely welcome, particularly given the uncertainty around Brexit and the hugely competitive marketplace in which we're operating. The fall in the value of sterling has made holidays in Ireland more expensive for British visitors, and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top source markets. On top of that, our research shows that many British, French and German travellers are likely to delay their holiday decisions next year because of the uncertainty around Brexit.

"However, as our nearest neighbour, Britain remains an extremely important market for tourism to the island of Ireland. We know that it's a market with a strong affinity with Ireland and that British visitors are more likely to visit Ireland all year round and to travel more widely around our regions, including border areas, more than other visitors.

"Our message, and that of the entire Irish tourism industry, is very simple. Whatever happens with Brexit, our welcome will continue to be as genuinely warm as ever, our people will continue to be funny and full of chat, and our landscapes will continue to take your breath away. Together with our industry, we will be marketing hard in Britain and across the world to deliver that message from now right through 2020, and to provide the reassurance that potential visitors and our travel trade partners overseas need to hear."


The Irish tourism operators attending the three day WTM will engage in thousands of meetings with British and international tour operators to negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2020. Organisers estimate that, in total, £3 billion (approximately €3.46 billion) worth of business was done at last year's WTM.

© 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.