Tourism Minister Catherine Martin has travelled to the UK to head a push to reopen the Irish market for British tourists, including a new marketing campaign that will be launched in October under the tag line ‘Green Button’.
he trip to London, where Minister Martin will give a speech on Thursday evening at an event hosted by the Irish embassy, is her first overseas promotional visit with Tourism Ireland and the first major in-person series of events undertaken by Tourism Ireland to promote Ireland since the outbreak of COVID-19.
She’s also expected to announce in her London speech a wider policy shift to favour development of sustainable tourism in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A sustainable tourism working group under the minister’s remit recently drew up an action plan which aims to promote sustainable tourism practices and the findings are expected to underpin a new tourism policy which will look to make the idea of sustainable tourism mainstream, a key issue for Minister Martin’s Green Party.
That could mean a bigger push to attract more walkers and cyclists but also to incentivise longer stays potentially at the expense of the volume of short trips here.
The United Kingdom accounted for 42pc of overseas visitors to Ireland before Covid, and about a quarter of all of the money spent worth €1.45bn in 2019.
Tourism Ireland’s ‘Green Button’ marketing campaign has a budget of €4.6m and will run from October until early December to drive bookings into 2022:
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, who is also on the trip said key tourism priorities include rebuilding consumer confidence; as well as air and sea connectivity.
” Tourism Ireland, together with our tourism industry partners from around the island of Ireland, will participate in a number of significant events in Great Britain, such as World Travel Market 2021, Flavours of Ireland 2021 and Ireland Meets GB. These upcoming events will allow our partners to highlight and sell their product to key contacts in Great Britain – encouraging them to feature Ireland in their 2022 holiday and tour programmes,” he said.