Tourism Ireland and Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin have unveiled a new strategy to grow tourist numbers from the United States.
The US is the second-largest market for tourism to Ireland, with 1.83 American visitors coming to Ireland in 2017. Looking to the future, the aim is to welcome 2 million American visitors per year by 2021.
Minister Brendan Griffin said: “As we reflect on 2017, which was another record-breaking year for Irish tourism, it is important that we also look to the future and strive to establish new and innovative ways of growing the tourism sector further.
“It is vital that we continue to invest in tourism marketing and I want to compliment Tourism Ireland on their new marketing strategy for the US market, which sets out ambitious, but achievable growth targets.”
He added: “We must be mindful of the market research which shows that value for money is important to US tourists; therefore retaining our competitiveness will be crucial. I have no doubt that this new marketing strategy will build on the very strong performance we have enjoyed from the United States in recent years.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, also commented on the new aims for America, saying: “The United States has performed exceptionally well for tourism to the island of Ireland in recent years. We are aware that continuing to deliver the level of growth seen in recent years will be challenging, as the competitive environment is becoming increasingly crowded.
“But, we also know that this is a market with a strong affinity with Ireland and we believe that it can yield good growth in the years ahead. However, in order to unlock that growth, we will have to do some things differently; we need to adapt and respond to new opportunities. I am confident that our new, focused strategy will deliver on the challenging targets we have set for growth in American visitors, between now and 2021.”
As part of the new targets, Tourism Ireland researched the desires of American travellers, discovering that Ireland needs to be more visible in the places where Americans are looking (when planning their vacation) and booking (for actual travel), including all travel platforms and social media. American tourists are also seeking more personalised, authentic experiences and appreciate value for money.
For more information, visit www.tourismireland.com.