Tourism Ireland has revealed details of its new three-year strategy for 2020 to 2022 and its plans to promote the island to international visitors.
The organisation aims to grow overseas tourism revenue to Ireland by 13 per cent to €6.5 billion ($10.7 billion) by 2022, and visitor numbers by seven per cent to 12 million.
For Northern Ireland, the goal is to grow overseas tourism revenue by 15 per cent over the next three years to £658 million ($1.3 billion), and visitor numbers by 13 per cent to 2.57 million.
Tourism Ireland’s new marketing strategy is built on what it believes are a set of sustainable principles.
These include increasing the focus on locations and attractions that have capacity at peak visitor times, and highlighting those less well-known attractions and events that appeal to international visitors and have the capacity to cater for increased numbers.
Tourism Ireland will also look to drive more business to the island’s regions by prioritising regional messages in global campaigns, working with airports and carriers to stimulate regional air access routes and a new ‘twinning’ initiative, where each overseas market will ‘twin with’ or place a greater focus on a specific region in Ireland.
Furthermore, the organisation will place an increasing focus on season extension, which will involve leveraging festivals and events such as Taste the Island, Púca, St Patrick’s Festival, Galway 2020, TradFest and Wexford Festival Opera to drive more non-peak travel. Urban centres will be promoted as off-season, city break destinations.
Prioritising co-operative marketing activity to drive regional and Northern Ireland growth or season extension, as well as heightened collaboration with stakeholders and sister agencies Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland on sustainability are the two other sustainability principles for Tourism Ireland.
The organisation has also identified a number of other strategic areas to underpin its promotional activity in 2020.
These include market diversification and targeting, and reviewing its core segments – ‘culturally curious’ and ‘social energisers’.
Tourism Ireland will also assess the future potential of special niche segments and special interest groups, including soft adventure, diaspora and LGBT+, and will continue to grow Ireland’s share of luxury travel from key markets.
It’s global campaign, ‘Fill Your Heart With Ireland’, will feature a range of less-visited attractions and locations, and will highlight the passions that research shows motivate Tourism Ireland’s target audience, such as landscapes and heritage; and will dial up activities like walking, cycling and kayaking.
In 2020, Tourism Ireland will re-develop its international website, Ireland.com, and use big data and artificial intelligence to target customers.
The new technology will also allow the organisation to re-target visitors and potential visitors with personalised messages and offers designed to appeal to their specific interests.
Tourism Ireland will increase the number of face-to-face sales platforms on offer for Irish industry and overseas trade partners. There will also be an increased number of digital sales leads available to industry and trade.
Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative – when more than 500 iconic landmarks and sites around the world will be illuminated in green to celebrate the country’s national day.
In March 2020, Tourism Ireland will develop a new ‘Green Tuesday’ St Patrick’s Day promotion – a time-limited mega-event linked to its Global Greening campaign, encouraging carriers, industry and trade to provide off-peak special offers.