Tourism Ireland Marketing Plans Launched Today

Tourism Ireland launched their marketing plans for 2013 today.

Ambitious targets have been set in particular for the U.S and GB markets based on the recent strategy launches for both of these markets in the past month.  Highlights included

  • New website – new by design and name, live in the coming weeks
  • The website design will focus strongly on imagery and the experiences that Ireland offers to all target segments and markets
  • 2013 Advertising Campaigns will focus on The Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative to build on the already extensive promotion internationally
  • Strong focus on the travel trade distribution channel continues in all key markets
  • Growth in air capacity from U.S. market is a very welcome news – 20% increase on 2012 to both east and west coast


See the full Tourism Ireland Marketing Plans 2013 .

ITOA WORKSHOPS 2013 – Dates and Locations Announced

ITOA Workshops, a firm fixture on the Irish Tourism Industry trade promotions annual calendar have been announced for 2013.

The two annual events are key selling and promotional events for tourism businesses who wish to sell their products in the international markets and through the ITOA travel trade distribution channel are taking place in Limerick on March 12th and Dublin on March 14th 2013.

The success of these networking and sales events where businesses meet with ITOA members  to promote and contract business for the 2014 season is evident from the level or repeat and new business that developing relationships in the workshop format can deliver.  Every year the events happen earlier primarily because ITOA members are being asked by their international partners to deliver packages and products at a time when they are planning and contracting for the year ahead.

It’s important that ITOA members deliver the requirements of their international business partners so as to ensure that Ireland maintains and grows its visibility in their destination portfolios.  The travel trade distribution channel is vitally important to Irelands Tourism industry as it delivers sustainable business and visitors to the island annually and particularly the regions outside the capital.

60% of ITOA members business visits all of the regions around the island and its business that stays longer and spends more as a consequence.  ITOA Workshops are therefore a valuable resource to many of the tourism business who participate in these selling events annually.

On-Line registration is now open for the 2013 events.

[button color=”#ffffff” background=”#ff6600″ size=”medium” src=””]Book Now[/button]

Click here to book


Continued Growth in ITOA Members Businesses in 2012

Following a recent council meeting of ITOA members, President Gerry Nicholls reported that members were generally satisfied with business performance thus far in 2012. Overall members were projecting further growth on the excellent recovery experienced in 2011.

President Gerry Nicholls said “ Our 2011 ITOA Member Business Report  [opens in PDF] launched mid-year showed significant signs of a return to growth with overall members businesses reporting a 20% increase on 2010.  There was particularly good recovery from the North American market in 2011 with 30% growth experiences and ITOA members handling 21% of the total promotable visitors to Ireland last year. Europe also continued to deliver strongly with France, Germany and Austria being the star performers”.

ITOA conduct a business survey with members at the beginning of each year and while in its early days, the general view is that cumulatively single digit growth is expected on 2012 business.  “This recovery has been hard won by ITOA members and the level of sales and promotional activity undertaken in the overseas markets is the primary reason for this good news .

ITOA members spent over 6.5 million on sales and marketing activity last year and over 1,500 man days in the markets which is equivalent to 7 full time sales staff in the markets every week.  Our members are winning business for Ireland not just for the short term but a year to two years in advance, so the time and budget we invest in a given year in the overseas markets is about medium to long term business with 2014 already firmly on the radar.

There is no doubt that there is still good business to be written for 2013 with shorter lead in time, particularly with the Gathering 2013 initiative really gaining momentum since September of this year.  ITOA members are playing their part in the promoting and delivering the Gathering message internationally and have been doing so since early this year.


ITOA Welcomes Launch of GB Path to Growth Report

Gerry Nicholls, ITOA President, welcomed the launch of this important report yesterday.

The report informed by an exhaustive review of the island of Ireland and its competitors’ performance in the British market was undertaken in the past 8 months by the Tourism Recovery Taskforce which included representatives from Tourism Ireland, Failte Ireland, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation and other industry members including ITOA.

The report, GB Path to Growth, sets out a new plan for restoring growth from the island of Ireland’s largest source market – Great Britain – by identifying areas of best potential growth and recommending that future marketing and development plans be focused intensely on these.

At the launch Vivienne Jupp, Chairperson of the TRT said that the Taskforce is confident that the implementation of all elements of this strategy will restore growth from the GB holiday market to the island of Ireland.

Leading tourism experts, Oxford Economics, have estimated that growth could be close to 5% per annum during the period 2013-2016. This would represent cumulative growth of almost 20%, or close to 200,000 additional annual GB visitors, which would exceed the general outlook for travel in Britain.

The report identifies three potential growth segments of the GB market. It recommends the packaging of our holiday experiences which are tailor-made for their particular tastes, allied with a new marketing strategy specifically targeting this trio of best prospects.

Gerry Nicholls, ITOA President said ‘this review of the British market was extensive and has provided a clear road map for both delivering the right product experiences and marketing communications to the target segments identified as having best potential for the Island of Ireland in the GB market.  Another key point in relation to this report is that it presents an excellent blueprint for other and future international market reviews, particularly those markets that are performing well and are poised for continued growth in the future”.

The full report can be accessed on the home page of the website of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC):

The Gathering Ireland 2013 Initiative Gathers Momentum

Watch this video above for a peek into what to expect during The Gathering 2013.

The Gathering Ireland 2013 has been well and truly launched this month.

There has been lots of promotional activity on the Gathering Year 2013 by ITOA members through their international travel partners since its initial launch earlier this year.  But September has seen a significant gear change in promoting next year’s celebration  both at home and internationally.

“The initiative is certainly now capturing the imagination of the domestic audience with the promotional activity around at the Emerald Isle Classic Notre Dame Navy Game and the All Ireland Croke Park Hurling Final along with an extensive advertising campaign nationally and community meetings taking place the length and breadth of the country where ideas are being activated to organise gatherings and welcome home events in 2013” says Ruth Andrews, Chief Executive ITOA.

In tandem,  Tourism Ireland are promoting the year long event throughout the international markets, organizing events to engage key Diaspora to ‘be a part of it’ by coming home of organising their own events in Ireland next year. Extensive targeted communications are also a key feature of the promotional activity in many of the main overseas markets and providing trade support to incorporate The Gathering message in their 2013 programmes and itineraries.

“It’s a simple idea really – when ITOA came up with this initiative some years ago it was an idea that provided everyone with the opportunity to invite people to Ireland, ask for the business and promote all that is great and good about this country and its people;  an opportunity to highlight and promote the extensive range of annual festivals and events that have the ability to attract visits to the destination be they of Irish decent or visitors who simply have an affinity with Ireland  – a trigger to encourage them to visit Ireland in the Gathering year.”

Watch that space and as the Gathering Ireland message says – don’t miss your chance to be a part of it.

Read More


Notre Dame vs Navy US Football Game

A winning performance all round – Notre Dame vs Navy American Football Game

The fighting Irish came home on September 1st and had a winning performance all round!

Wherever you were on the island of Ireland in the last week of August or first week of September you were sure to meet some of the 35,000 American visitors who came to support their teams playing in the Aviva stadium on September 1st.

Some travelled for the game and a long weekend but lots of those supporters took the opportunity to holiday in Ireland in and around the match and they travelled the length and breadth of the country.  The average spend per visitor is €2,500 providing therefore almost a €90 million boost to the economy.

Gerry Nicholls President said “This underpins the importance of ‘Events’ and endorses ITOA’s long held view that targeting and supporting the right type of International Events can bring enormous dividends to the Tourism Industry and the exchequer.  These Events don’t just happen by accident and there was an enormous amount of planning over a three year period in advance of the game, that many people were not aware of.  ITOA members played a significant part in delivering the number of US visitors who came not only from the USA but from all around the globe to this Game by providing the ground arrangements and packages that were promoted over 2-3 years in advance of the event.”