Tourism Ireland has revealed details of its marketing plans to promote the island of Ireland overseas in 2018, at an event attended by tourism industry leaders from around the country.
2017 is set to be another record year for Irish tourism, surpassing all previous records. By year end, 10.65m people will have visited the island of Ireland, spending €5.78bn. For 2018, Tourism Ireland aims to build on this year’s performance – growing overseas tourism revenue by 5% to €6bn, and increasing visitor numbers by 2% to 10.8m.
Latest estimates indicate that, by year end, revenue generated by international visitors will be around €5.78bn, a 6.7% increase over last year, helping to sustain some 282,000 valuable jobs in communities across the island. Some 10.65m people will have visited the island of Ireland, representing a 3.2% increase over 2016, with growth recorded from all markets except Britain.
Tourism Ireland has again acknowledged that Brexit will continue to impact on British consumer confidence and, in turn, on outbound travel from Britain. The depreciation of sterling against the euro means that value for money will continue to be a key message from Tourism Ireland.
New access developments for 2018 include a new Cathay Pacific flight to Dublin from Hong Kong; Aer Lingus flights to Dublin from Seattle and Philadelphia; Air Canada services between Toronto and Shannon and between Montreal and Dublin; as well as increased Ryanair services from Germany. Irish Ferries will introduce its new cruise ferry, the WB Yeats, in July – which will mean double the current number of sailings between France and Ireland, with daily departures in alternate directions.
Tourism Ireland is also working on developing a new global advertising campaign, to refresh and reinvigorate the presentation of Ireland, for roll-out in 2019 and beyond. This will include a refresh of Ireland.com.
“We are heading into 2018 in a position of some strength, based on the success of 2017. Our aim is to position Ireland as a year-round, ‘must visit’ destination and to ensure that the contribution of overseas tourism to the economy continues to expand,” said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.