Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring today announced details of a new overseas joint tourism marketing campaign from a range of funding sources to boost tourism to the Western Region from Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy.
Funding of €1 million has been allocated through Fáilte Ireland, five local authorities (Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo and Roscommon), Tourism Ireland, the Western Development Commission and Ireland West Airport Knock, towards the Western Region Tourism Marketing Programme.
Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority, is providing €600,000 of the €1 million total. It is estimated that the overall total campaign spend could actually reach €1.4 million as additional value is also leveraged from key carrier and tour operator partners overseas.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Ring welcomed the funding boost and commended all those involved in the initiative -
“I am delighted to be launching this new campaign for the Western Region and hopefully we can look forward to an influx of visitors to the area. This funding is testament to the Government's commitment towards tourism in the West and North West – aiming to increase the number of tourists coming to the region and boosting both jobs and revenue in the local economy.
“Through this campaign, we aim to heighten awareness of the region as a holiday destination in particular in our key overseas markets such as Great Britain and mainland Europe. With the added bonus of new flight routes secured for Ireland West Airport Knock, the West of Ireland is now truly set to sell itself as a must-see destination for overseas holidaymakers.”
Today’s news comes as new routes have just commenced from Ireland West Airport Knock with Ryanair operating four routes (Frankfurt – Hahn, Paris – Beauvais, Milan – Bergamo & Barcelona – Girona). These new routes started last month and will operate three times each week (Barcelona two times per week). In addition, Lufthansa will launch a new weekly Dusseldorf service on May 12th which will run throughout the high season.
The marketing campaign is a partnership between Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and the Western Development Commission in association with Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon and Leitrim County Councils and Ireland West Airport Knock.
The programme will see additional promotional activities for the West rolled out in the overseas markets. Using radio, print and online advertising as well as direct mail promotions and radio competitions, the campaign aims to highlight outdoor and adventure activities in the West and North West regions as well as showcasing the wealth of heritage and culture on offer.
Speaking today, Shaun Quinn, Fáilte Ireland’s CEO, stressed - “This campaign will build on the momentum created by the new direct access routes in the West and this is great news for the tourism industry, local businesses and the local economy. The joined-up approach being taken to promote tourism in the region is an example of how agencies, local authorities and private companies can work together pooling both resources and budgets to ensure much greater impact internationally.”
The campaign represents an additional marketing ‘drive’ for this region. It comes on top of the very extensive overseas promotional activity Tourism Ireland is already rolling out for the Western Region across top markets.
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said - “Working closely with airlines and airports to drive tourism into the West is a key priority for Tourism Ireland and we are delighted to bring our overseas marketing experience to the initiative and to collaborate with all the partners. The new marketing programme will undoubtedly help drive demand for services to Ireland West Airport Knock and grow the number of overseas visitors to Mayo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo and Donegal. It comes on top of a series of cooperative campaigns which Tourism Ireland and its private airline partners are already rolling out in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain to promote new and existing services and boost tourism to the West of Ireland.”
Direct air access drives enterprise and tourism and the Western Development Commission (WDC) and the Region’s Local Authorities have long supported a policy of direct international access to and from the Western Region.
Ian Brannigan WDC Acting CEO said the campaign 'will increase awareness of both the west coast and the lake land counties of Leitrim and Roscommon as attractive holiday destinations among millions of people in key European and UK cities. Potential tourists across Europe will learn what we in the West and North West have always known: the West of Ireland has an excellent tourism product. This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our stunning scenery, fantastic accommodation, the wide range of things to see and do, as well as the genuine welcome and great hospitality” he added.
Speaking at the launch Peter Hynes, Mayo County Manager said 'that this is a very welcome development for all of the regional Local Authorities involved. The campaign will roll out immediately and will run in overseas markets in the coming months driving international tourists to consider Ireland’s Western Region as their 2012 holiday destination'.
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