Offaly Tourism Operator Joins Tourism Ireland At World’s Largest Travel Fair In Berlin
The largest travel trade fair in the world, ITB in Berlin, took place last week. Eighteen (18) Irish and German tourism companies – including Silverline Cruisers (based in Banagher) – joined Tourism Ireland at the fair, in a bid to grow Ireland’s share of the German travel market, one of the largest outbound travel markets in the world and the largest in Europe.
Germany is the third-largest market for tourism to Ireland and is worth about €400 million annually to our economy. Last year was another record year for Irish tourism from Germany – when we welcomed over 650,000 German visitors, an increase of +4% on 2015. Tourism Ireland is rolling out an extensive programme of promotional activity again in 2017 – to keep the momentum going and build on that growth.
ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) is the biggest travel promotion of the year – attracting over 200,000 visitors from 187 countries across the world. Of these, about 120,000 are trade visitors – including leading tour operators, travel agents, airlines, travel media and bloggers – not just from Germany but from all over the world. The five-day event provided a valuable opportunity to network, negotiate and exchange vital contracts with the influential international tour operators and travel agents in attendance.
Speaking at ITB Berlin, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The large representation of our tourism partners on the Tourism Ireland stand at ITB this year is extremely welcome – and essential in the highly competitive global marketplace. Germans who are interested in taking a holiday which involves sightseeing and local culture remain our core audience; we are also targeting people who engage in outdoor activities while on holidays. ITB provides an excellent opportunity to spread the word about all the great things to see and do in Offaly, Ireland’s Ancient East and elsewhere around the island of Ireland.”
With so many destinations all competing for business at ITB, Tourism Ireland’s aim was to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the influential audience at the show. Ireland’s Ancient East, the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin are just some of the key themes which were highlighted by Tourism Ireland at this year’s ITB.
About 16 million Germans have been seeing ads for Ireland this spring, on national and satellite channels like ARD, Sat1, RTL, VOX, Kabel 1 and RTL Nitro. An online video ad campaign is running on Facebook, via the Teads network, this month. And, news and information about Ireland – including the Wild Atlantic Way, Northern Ireland and Ireland’s Ancient East – is also featuring on popular German websites, such as focus.de.
In 2017, Tourism Ireland will invite 180 top German travel and lifestyle journalists to visit Ireland – generating positive publicity worth more than €45 million. Email marketing is targeting 57,000 potential German holidaymakers each week; and Tourism Ireland is also promoting Ireland to its 285,000 Facebook fans in Germany. Co-operative campaigns with carriers like Aer Lingus and Irish Ferries are promoting ease of access to Ireland from Germany; and Tourism Ireland is also working with online travel agents like Weg.de and major tour operators such as Dertour, Berge & Meer and TUI Wolters Reisen. More co-op campaigns with other key partners will be rolled out during the year.