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Travel bosses target visits to Ireland from the mega-rich in bid to conjure the ‘Kardashian effect’


Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Photo: Reuters

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Photo: Reuters

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Photo: Reuters

Tourism bosses here are hoping for the ‘Kardashian effect’ as they target multi-millionaires to help kick start the recovery of the devastated tourism sector post- Covid-19.

This follows Fáilte Ireland coming together with Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland seeking to employ experts to examine the potential of “ultra high- net- worth luxury travel” on the tourism economy here.

In a tender, the agencies state that luxury travel “will be one area of opportunity” for tourism here post Covid-19 and are requiring the services of an expert consultant with extensive knowledge of “the ultra-high- net worth individuals” who can assist the three agencies in developing strategy in this area.

The market that the agencies are targeting is very exclusive, with the tender documentation stating that wealthy individuals are those defined with liquid assets of over $5m.

The agencies want to know through the work to be undertaken who are the ultra high-net-worth travellers “and how we influence them”.

The tender states that “pre-Covid, the size of the luxury demographic was increasing and their propensity to travel and immerse themselves in new experiences was growing.”

CEO of the go-to firm for agents of celebrities holidaying in Ireland, Adams and Butler, Siobhan Byrne Learat, welcomed the agencies’ initiative.

In 2014, Ms Byrne Learat arranged the itinerary for the low-profile honeymoon here of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, who according to Forbes have a joint net worth of $2bn.

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The company has previously looked after the needs of Taylor Swift here.

Ms Byrne Learat said yesterday: “It is a given in the industry that the luxury niche will return first. They are more adventurous and also normally travel five times a year, so they have pent-up demand.”

She stated: “Any hesitation they have (to travel) is counteracted for by private planes, first-class air-tickets and exclusive-use properties.

" They also are booking more off-the-beaten-track and, in their, eyes s afer experiences, such as private visits, dinners and lunches.

She said Covid-19 has had a “huge impact” on her business, but enquiries are starting to trickle in for next year and beyond.

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