IRELAND’S INVESTED IMPORTANCE IN NORTH AMERICA

Ireland’s influence on North America is widely-known and storied. However, with travel and tourism disrupted by the global pandemic, key minds at Tourism Ireland have ensured they made the right decisions to keep Ireland relevant and popular to North American audiences.

As reported by LTA, US luxury travel advisors have kept Ireland as a key destination throughout the pandemic. This is partly due to heavy investment from Tourism Ireland, who have led a tailored campaign that features the essential US market as a cornerstone target. This investment has culminated in the recently-launched campaign, inviting tourists to visit Ireland by pressing the “Green Button.”

The campaign is reported to cost around €4.3 million, launched on channels such as TV, digital and social media. Centring on attractions and natural landscapes, such as Giant’s Causeway and the Guinness Storehouse in Belfast, the campaign is expected to run through until January next year, with a focus on North America’s luxury market.

So what inspired this smart campaign? The US is Ireland’s second-biggest source market. 1.7 million American tourists traveled to Ireland in 2019, and the US remains an integral part of Ireland’s tourism market. It’s reported that Americans make up 27% of all tourist expenditure, totalling around €1.7 billion in 2019.

US luxury travel advisors have been a key target in the campaign, as they have remained an important element of Ireland’s travel business through history. “We needed to look at a way to stay engaged,” Alison Metcalfe, executive vice president of Tourism Ireland for North America, Australia and New Zealand, told LTA. “We—like a lot of destinations—have leveraged technology to provide a wide programme of virtual opportunities to educate US travel advisors to keep them up to date on what’s happening in Ireland.”

An integral part of this process was keeping US travel advisors not just engaged with Tourism Ireland, but with their industry partners. A series of webinars, workshops, and live events drew in advisors and partners, with a unified focus on luxury. Activities such as golf have been highlighted as draws for this American luxury market.

Time will tell just how successful this investment will be for Ireland’s continued influence on North America’s travellers, namely in the luxury market. That said, with the “Green Button” campaign, Tourism Ireland may have drawn up an effective blueprint on how to dynamically market a country to North America’s tourism and travel market past the pandemic.

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