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Sunday 19 August 2018

€1.8m Wild Atlantic Way campaign targets waning British visitors

Wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way

Skellig Michael, seen in an aerial photograph this winter. The island, with a monastic settlement dating from 588AD, is a major location in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Skellig Michael, seen in an aerial photograph this winter. The island, with a monastic settlement dating from 588AD, is a major location in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan
Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin with Paul Keely of Fáilte Ireland, left and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, right, at the launch of a new ‘Wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way’ on Friday. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

A new, €1.8 million initiative will target 10 million Britons in the hope of boosting off-season visits to the Wild Atlantic Way.

'Wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way' highlights direct access from six British gateway cities through eye-catching ads, a Classic FM promotion and collaborations with Ryanair, Aer Lingus, TripAdvisor and influential group tour operators, among others.

It consists of a €1.35m Tourism Ireland marketing campaign, and a €500,000 Fáilte Ireland support programme aimed at helping businesses on the touring route to target British visitors, diversify and assess their exposure to Brexit.

It comes as British trips - which account for some 47pc of overall visitors to Ireland - continue to decline. Visits from Great Britain fell by 5pc last year, according to the latest Central Statistics Office data - as Brexit continues to impact.

"Whilst the performance of the tourism sector in 2017 was exceptionally good, the one negative aspect was the decline in the number of overseas visitors to Ireland from Britain," said Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin, who launched the campaign.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, added:

Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin with Paul Keely of Fáilte Ireland, left and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, right, at the launch of a new ‘Wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way’ on Friday. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin with Paul Keely of Fáilte Ireland, left and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, right, at the launch of a new ‘Wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way’ on Friday. Photo: Don MacMonagle

“We are very much aware that Brexit has impacted on consumer confidence and, in turn, on outbound travel from Britain – including to Ireland.

"The depreciation of sterling against the euro means that value for money continues to be a key message for us in Britain.

"An important element of this campaign is the co-operative advertising with airlines flying to airports along the Wild Atlantic Way – highlighting good value offers and ease of access, helping to convert interest into business.”

The Wild Atlantic Way was recently voted Ireland's top tourist attraction in Weekend Magazine and Independent.ie's Reader Travel Awards 2018.

Roll out of 'Wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way' begins in February and March, with a further phase in September and October of this year.

Read more:

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