Tourism Ireland in €10m US drive

TOURISM IRELAND is investing more than €10 million into marketing the country in the US this year.

It said in a competitive market price and value are critical for the American consumer this year.

Every destination is discounting and offering knock-down prices and packages, Tourism Ireland’s executive vice president in the US, Joe Byrne said.

He said in this difficult environment Tourism Ireland in the US is out there, fighting hard for every piece of business. “We have an extensive promotional programme in place, highlighting incredible value-for-money offers on travel, news, lifestyle and golf websites using the tagline ‘Ireland. More for Less’.

“We are undertaking co-operative marketing campaigns with partners, such as air carriers and tour operators, promoting ‘hot offers’.

“Reaction to our promotional campaigns has been excellent which shows there is a late booking pulse in the market.”

Mr Byrne said there are ’excellent’ air fares on offer in the US from Aer Lingus and other direct carriers, which is adding to the attractiveness of coming to Ireland.

“Anecdotal feedback from carriers and tour operators indicates that business is down but that the island of Ireland is more than holding its own with other European destinations and the US market is responding to Tourism Ireland’s promotion of the great fares and offers, albeit quite late,” he said.

The Irish Hotels Federation have said American visitor stays at Irish hotels are down about 15% this year but it said never before has such good value been available.

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