Tourism Ireland has launched a marketing plan to rapidly increase tourism revenue and visitor numbers over three years.
The 2020 to 2022 campaign, Fill Your Heart with Ireland, features less well-known attractions such as Trim Castle, Waterford Greenway and Rathlin Island.
This is phase two of Ireland’s marketing push – the first phase was launched in 2018.
It will be rolled out to 20 markets around the world, and aims to increase visitor numbers by 7% to 12 million by 2022, and overseas tourism revenue by 13% to €6.54 billion in the same period.
The plan is designed to be sustainable by spreading visitors around the country on a year-round basis.
“I have been hugely impressed by the hard work and dedication of the Tourism Ireland team at home and overseas during what has been a somewhat challenging year for tourism,” said Brendan Griffin, minister for tourism and sport, at the launch today (2 December).
“While performance in the sector this year has been mixed, we are still in line to see a contribution of well over €5 billion to our economy from overseas tourists in 2019.”
Over the next three years, Tourism Ireland plans to redevelop its entire suite of Ireland.com websites, which attracted more than 23 million visits this year.
It will also use data to target potential visitors with personalised messages and offers.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “In 2019 we’ve seen a continuing weak trend in Irish tourism – which has been reflected in the feedback from our industry partners, who’ve been experiencing weaker demand.
“We’ve certainly seen the effects of the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit on travel to Ireland, with holidaymakers booking later and reducing their holiday budgets.”
Latest estimates suggest around €5.78 billion will be generated in Ireland by the end of 2019, which is down 1.4% on last year.
Gibbons added: “It is not enough to simply target growth at all costs, and our new three-year strategy is built on a set of sustainable destination marketing principles.
“These principles will underpin all of Tourism Ireland’s activities and are reflected in our renewed emphasis on driving business to the regions and ensuring the benefits of tourism growth are distributed right around the island of Ireland, on a year-round basis.
“By applying these principles and through working with our partners on wider sustainability issues, we are confident that overseas tourism will help communities to prosper, while our overseas visitors continue to enjoy a great holiday experience.”