Tourism Ireland set for a year back

Tourism Ireland, the Irish government agency tasked with promoting the country’s vital tourism industry, presented detailed plans at events in New York last week in a bid to bring Americans back to the Emerald Isle now that the pandemic is receding.

Prior to Covid-19, Irish tourism interests relied heavily on Americans crossing the Atlantic – in 2019 there were 1.7 million American visitors to the island of Ireland, generating $1.9 billion in business economic.

According to a press release, “Tourism Ireland will roll out its largest-ever marketing program in the United States, to boost overseas tourism to the island of Ireland.

“After two difficult years for the tourism and hospitality sector, Tourism Ireland will step up its campaigns, aim to reduce crowding and convert ‘goers’ into ‘bookings’. Tourism Ireland’s message is that Ireland is open for business again and we look forward to welcoming American visitors back.

Last Wednesday evening, after hosting a lunch for local Irish American journalists, Tourism Ireland welcomed guests to the AMC Lincoln Square IMAX cinema to unveil the new giant screen documentary film, ‘Ireland’, narrated by Liam Neeson.

“The film was produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films of which Tourism Ireland is the global presenting partner. Ireland celebrates our rich history, culture, arts and music, and our spectacular landscapes,” the press release adds.

This month and beyond, Tourism Ireland’s Green Button campaign will take center stage in many key US cities, promoting Ireland as a great place to visit.

“The campaign is running across multiple channels in key gateway cities and priority markets (including New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas), to reach and engage audiences most potential travel to Ireland.

“Green Button TV ads will run on-air and online, on major television networks ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, around popular shows with large audiences. The ads also run on major television services. streaming like Hulu, WarnerMedia, YouTube TV, Sling TV and Discovery+. The TV and digital campaign will reach approximately 92 million people and generate over 600 million impressions (opportunities to view) this year,” the press release reads.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, traveled to New York for last week’s events.

“As we restart overseas tourism to the island of Ireland, we are rolling out our biggest ever promotions program to the all-important US market this year. From our research, we know that there is significant pent-up demand among travelers to return to the island of Ireland as soon as possible,” he said.

“However, we also know that there is significant competition in the market; every destination has felt the impact of Covid-19 and is now seeking its share of the recovery. Our campaigns will therefore have to pierce the noise and create an immediate desire to visit.

Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President of Tourism Ireland, North America and Australia, said: “We are currently rolling out our Green Button Reboot campaign in the US, encouraging travelers to start planning and booking their trip on the island of Ireland. Our extensive program of high impact campaigns and promotions targets consumers who are likely to travel to Ireland.

“Our message is very simple: Ireland is open for business, there is good air access in the summer and we look forward to welcoming visitors back from the United States.

Among Tourism Ireland’s 2022 initiatives is a partnership with Riverdance, the popular Irish dance and music show which is resuming its 25th anniversary tour of the United States.

*This column first appeared in the March 9 edition of the weekly Irish Voice, IrishCentral’s sister publication.

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