A €19m promotional campaign to boost late-season travel to Ireland during the last few months of The Gathering has been launched today.
The September to December period usually yields as much as 30% of Ireland’s overseas tourism business.
The campaign, launched by Tourism Ireland and Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar, will highlight the many festivals and events taking place around the island this autumn, many of them with a Gathering theme.
These include the Dublin Festival Season, the Belfast Festival at Queens, the Wexford Festival Opera, the Westport Food Festival, the Waterford Harvest Food Festival, the Cork Jazz Festival and the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival.
A special focus will be placed on highlighting the New Year’s Eve event in Dublin – NYE 2014 – which is the grand finale of The Gathering.
The campaign – which is being rolled out in Great Britain, the United States, Mainland Europe, Australia and emerging markets – will incorporate a major focus on city breaks as well as on attracting visitors to more rural areas over the coming months.
Highlights of the activity include co-operative promotions with Aer Lingus and Ryanair, transatlantic and long-haul airlines like American Airlines, Etihad and Emirates; cinema, radio, print and online advertising; as well as extensive PR and social media activity.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said: “It’s been a great year for Irish tourism so far with a 6% increase in visitors.
“There are still lots of great festivals for the Gathering between now and New Year.
“This €19m campaign will help keep momentum going, and has been fine-tuned for key markets who are likely to visit.”
Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said: “Our autumn campaign aims to take advantage of late booking trends in our target markets, as there is still plenty of business to play for.
“Many people are opting for shorter holiday breaks and autumn is a good opportunity with many world-class festivals and events happening around the island. In association with our tourism partners, we have enticing autumn/winter packages to offer, developed around festivals and themes such as food, music, literature and the arts.”
“In addition, Tourism Ireland is bringing in over 120 top overseas Tour Operators this autumn to meet with hundreds of tourism businesses across the island and negotiate inclusion in their 2014 programmes.”