05 FEB 2019: Tourism Ireland is ready to ‘Fill Your Heart With Ireland.’ The new global campaign unveiled recently by Tourism Ireland is the biggest one of its kind to date. ‘Fill Your Heart with Ireland,’ is a 10-million euro investment from the Irish Government, designed to drive continued growth to the regions and to encourage visitors to travel in the shoulder season.

It features locations that have been less visited by overseas visitors and highlights outdoor activities like cycling, walking and kayaking along with urban experiences that Canadian visitors enjoy.

“The campaign is telling people, 'Look we're always hyper-connected and always on our phone  – Ireland is a country where you can switch off and really get away from it all.'  The campaign is really about extending the season. It's about driving more business into the regions of Ireland not just the urban areas,” Niall Gibbons, CEO, Tourism Ireland told Travel Industry Today.

Alison Metcalfe, Head of North America for Tourism Ireland, adds the new campaign also is in response to consumer research undertaken by the tourism agency, focusing on consumer interests and various passion points. “When you think about travel how do you put a destination in consideration?  I think its food, culture, we need to make sure we have a campaign that will inspire them.”

‘Fill Your Heart With Ireland’ features a short video of a couple travelling to Ireland for the first time and how their experiences affect their heart rates, proving that “hidden gems just as much as our better known attractions can excite.”

See them traipsing through countrysides and hanging out on craggy cliff edge walks with a camera mounted on their heads as a heart monitor checks their climbing heart rates for the incredible encounters experienced.  “So when the heart rate increases the camera goes on and when it calms down and decreases (the heart) it stops, so this is their story,” says Gibbons of the YouTube video which is available in 30 second, 60 second and 90 second spots.

View the making of it in this behind the scenes video:

Canadian Visitors at an All-Time High

The recent ‘Jump Into Ireland’ campaign saw an all-time high in Canadian visitation to the Emerald Isle. Dana Welch, Manager for Tourism Ireland Canada says the new Canadian marketing campaign will have a stronger focus in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Tourism Ireland Canada also will host a sales mission in Vancouver, Calgary, Hamilton and Toronto to promote the newest initiative.

According to Tourism Ireland, since the launch of the last major global campaign in 2011, Canadian visitation numbers have tripled from 90,000 to over 250,000 visitors.  “The feedback we get is very positive,” says Gibbons who relayed a strong overall guest satisfaction score of 98 percent.

A Canadian visitor profile snapshot

We usually stay 9 nights.  The average visitor is 45 years or older, mostly travelling as couples but a younger client base enjoys long weekends and 4-5 day city breaks.

Expanding Air Servic Gibbons commends Dana Welch’s Toronto team for increased year-round airlift from Canada to Ireland.

This year, new air routes have been added to Montreal with the national carrier Aer Lingus, and WestJet with Hamilton and Calgary. Air service is also provided by Air Canada, Air Canada rouge, Air Transat, Norwegian, American Airlines and United Airlines. You can also fly directly to Ireland from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax and Hamilton.

Ad Viewership

Welch adds, “The ad has researched extremely positively. Viewers can see it is clearly authentic and credible and we're confident that it will motivate them to want to travel to Ireland to experience this for themselves.”

The videos will be viewed in Tourism Ireland's biggest markets (United States, Great Britain, France, Germany and Canada) through social media, television spots including Ireland.com “where we welcome 20 million visitors a year,” says Gibbons and adds, “We have a digital footprint of about 1 billion people around the globe so if we get everybody to like and share we reach a big audience.”

On Brexit “We are confident that our new campaign will help deliver another record year for tourism in 2019,” says Gibbons.

When Travel Industry Today asked whether this new campaign unveiled only weeks before Brexit was made in response to the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, he relayed that the global tourism initiative campaign was in the works due to increased government funding as well as the successful tourism growth attributed to the ‘Jump Into Ireland’ campaign.

On consumer confidence and Brexit, he notes that the Irish Government has been monitoring the situation since the UK voted to leave the European Union. “The actual number of British people coming into Ireland last year slightly increased,” Gibbons indicated, noting one of the key factors at the moment that could impact tourism is the sterling exchange rate. “But people are still going to take holidays,” he notes referring to the wealth of experiences and places that can only be found in Ireland.

Ireland remains competitive Metcalfe adds that Ireland remains competitive and affordable for agents to sell Ireland with confidence, “because of the 98 percent satisfaction level,” and further adds the off season a.k.a. ‘the smart season’ is, “Where you can get better value for accommodations and flights.”  June through September is the peak season.

“We are the closest European hub, only a 6.5 hour flight and with all the new access to air on stream it has never been easier to get to Ireland from Canada,” concludes Welch.

Why not consider a trip to the Emerald Isle, a green clean island full of lore, mystery and locavore magic where the salts of the earth meet you and ‘Fill Your Heart with Ireland’?




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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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