15 March 2019
By Elaine Murphy
Representatives of Cork County Council, who are in New York for the St Patrick’s Day period, met with senior executives from Tourism Ireland today (Friday, 15 March). They were briefed on Tourism Ireland’s extensive promotional programme in the United States for 2019, which is in full swing right now.
Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America, as a market which offers a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure. In 2019, Tourism Ireland aims to surpass the record-breaking performance of 2018 and to grow revenue from North American visitors by +8% i.e. €1.99 billion generated by 2.17 million visitors (+6%).
Our important ‘culturally curious’ and ‘social energiser’ audiences are being targeted with distinctive vacation experiences, events and special offers tailored to their interests. Tourism Ireland is creating ‘stand out’ for the island of Ireland in the US, highlighting experiences in Cork, along the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. Promotions aim to grow travel to the regions of Ireland, during the shoulder and off-peak seasons.
“We were delighted to meet with the representatives of Cork County Council and to have the opportunity to brief them about the extensive promotional programme we are undertaking in the United States this year,” said Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America and Australia. “In 2018, we welcomed a record 2 million North American visitors to the island of Ireland. Looking to the year ahead, we are confident that our strategy – combined with more airline seats than ever before from the US, as well as the strength and competitiveness of the vacation experience right around the island of Ireland – will deliver further growth.
“St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us; our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people everywhere and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage. We are using every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile this week; the saturation coverage about Ireland at this time of year – across the airwaves, in newspapers and digital media – is an invaluable boost for our overall tourism marketing drive in 2019.”
Over the coming days, Tourism Ireland will participate in and promote the island of Ireland at a range of St Patrick’s Day events across the United States. Numerous landmarks will participate in Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative to celebrate St Patrick and Ireland – including the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, the famous ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas, City Hall in Boston and the spectacular Niagara Falls.