Published on : Saturday, December 6, 2014
Tourism Ireland today launched details of its marketing plans to promote Northern Ireland overseas in 2015, at an event attended by tourism industry leaders from around Northern Ireland.
The organisation aims to build on this year’s growth in overseas tourism and to welcome almost 1.9 million visitors to Northern Ireland in 2015.
This figure will represent growth of +6% over 2014 and deliver £552 million to the Northern Ireland economy (+9%) next year.
Building on this year’s success and sustaining growth into the future is at the heart of Tourism Ireland’s strategy in 2015.
The plans will see Tourism Ireland prioritise those markets that offer the best return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and revenue i.e. Great Britain, North America and Mainland Europe.
Emerging markets of high potential will also be targeted, particularly China and India, where Tourism Ireland will highlight the new British-Irish Visa Scheme.
In 2015, Tourism Ireland will continue to promote major Northern Ireland themes and attractions around the world – including the Causeway Coastal Route, Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway, our National Trust properties, our world-class golf offering and great outdoor activities, Christian heritage, as well as our wonderful, locally-produced food.
The organisation will highlight events like the Irish Open and Tall Ships in Belfast. City breaks to Belfast and Londonderry will also be a focus.
The organisation will build on the success of its Game of Thrones campaign this year and will exploit ‘new news’ about Northern Ireland – including the launch of attractions such as the Gobbins Cliff Path and the newly-refurbished Mount Stewart house.
Tourism Ireland will also continue to build awareness of Northern Ireland as a top business tourism destination, particularly highlighting the new facilities at the Waterfront Hall.
Important factors working in our favour for 2015 include consumer confidence, which is returning in our key source markets; and continued product investment enhances our offering overseas.
Exchanges rates for currencies like the dollar are favourable; and the lower price of oil will help make air and sea routes more sustainable.
In 2015, Tourism Ireland will continue to leverage its strength in digital and social media. The organisation is now the fourth most popular tourism board in the world on Facebook (about 2.65 million fans), number three on Twitter and number two on YouTube.
Latest estimates indicate that, by year end, almost 1.8 million people will have visited Northern Ireland in 2014, representing a +5% increase over 2013.
Revenue generated by overseas visitors is expected to be approximately £508 million, a +7% increase over last year. Holiday visitors – the primary focus of Tourism Ireland marketing activity – are forecast to grow by +9%. Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Throughout 2014, Tourism Ireland undertook a packed programme of promotions, to bring Northern Ireland to the attention of travellers everywhere. A major focus of our activity in the early part of the year was on highlighting the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia.
We also joined forces with Game of Thrones creators HBO, on a ground-breaking advertising and social media campaign, leveraging the incredible success of the hugely popular TV series and its strong associations with Northern Ireland.
In addition, thousands of opportunities were created for potential visitors around the world to read, hear or watch positive messages about Northern Ireland; Tourism Ireland estimates that this media exposure is worth an estimated £82 million in equivalent advertising value.”
2015 and beyond
Tourism Ireland’s targets for 2015 will see Northern Ireland welcome almost 1.9 million visitors, representing growth of +6% over 2014.
Commenting on the year ahead, Niall Gibbons said: “Following a successful 2014, ambitious targets have been set for 2015.
We will continue to highlight iconic experiences all over Northern Ireland – including Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway and our unique National Trust properties.
The Causeway Coastal Route, and driving holidays to Northern Ireland, will also be promoted widely. Next year, we will working hard to maximise the tourism potential of the Irish Open at Royal County Down and the return of the Tall Ships to Belfast, as well as the opening of the Gobbins Cliff Path.
We will continue to target people of Ulster-Scots descent; and to promote Northern Ireland as a top golf destination.
And we will highlight the new British-Irish Visa Scheme in China and India, which will enable Chinese and Indian visitors to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa of either country.”
Tags: marketing plans, Tourism Ireland