Ireland West Airport Knock will today launch its first-ever TV advertising campaign in the UK in a bid to lure more tourists to the region this autumn and winter.
The Co Mayo hub has joined forces with Tourism Ireland in the cross-channel initiative which will reach a potential 8.4 million viewers.
Ireland West Airport already flies to and from UK destinations including Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, London Stansted, London Luton and Nottingham East Midlands.
The ads will be screened on Channel 4, Sky 1, Sky Sports, Sky Movies, Sky News, Fox News, and other cable channels during numerous popular TV programmes such as Deal Or No Deal, The Simpsons, Premiership Football and the US Open.
“This TV campaign enables us to promote all our routes to a wider audience in Britain and together with Tourism Ireland, we hope to attract more visitors from this market to our region which should see additional spin-off benefits in terms of visitor numbers and tourism spend,” said Airport spokesperson Annette Kearney.
The theme of the TV commercial is “Discover the secrets of the west of Ireland” and focuses on award winning golf courses, local heritage and culture and scenery.
Tourism Ireland Great Britain spokesman Lawrence Bate said: “Screening the campaign at this time of year is perfect for ’shoulder season’ autumn mini-breaks as most consumers have already taken a main holiday.”
The witty commercial is a two-part production with the first 30 seconds broadcast at the beginning of the ad break featuring activities to do in the west and north west.
The second part, which will be broadcast at the end of the ad break, will promote the ease with which British residents can avail of direct flight access to the west and north west of Ireland via Ireland West Airport Knock.
“Ireland West Airport Knock is breaking new ground and adding another tool to its marketing strategy by branching out to TV. Although the majority of the airport’s scheduled traffic connects to and from the UK, there is still great potential in attracting more British visitors to the region,” added Ms Kearney.
The majority of British visitors fly into Ireland West Airport Knock to visit family and friends and the new TV campaign is aimed at encouraging first time visitors and pure tourist to holiday in the region.
Ireland West Airport boss Liam Scollan last week called for all airports along the west coast of Ireland to unite to ensure strong air links to the region are maintained.
He was speaking in the context of the decision by Aer Lingus to pull its Heathrow flights out of Shannon Airport which has caused fury among business, tourism and political representatives in the mid west.
Mr Scollan called for more short haul, low cost flights to the UK and Europe which would also attract inbound tourism and economic development to the west.
He believes that services to key hubs such as London Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle in Paris are required to deliver worldwide connectivity for business links.
Mr Scollan said long haul direct transatlantic services were also essential.
He added: “The entire west of Ireland faces a challenge to sustain all year round services to key hubs that give worldwide connectivity.
“We need services that attract more inbound rather than more outbound traffic and we also need to ensure a quota of transatlantic services.”