While most Irish rugby fans will be happy to take five points, including a bonus one, away from Paris tomorrow, Tourism Ireland will also be looking to relieve the French of their holiday money as it launches a major TV advertising campaign in France this weekend – specially timed to coincide with the Ireland v France Six Nations opening match.
The campaign will run for five weeks and will reach almost 18 million viewers around France – or potential holidaymakers for Ireland – on two of the country’s main TV channels, France 2 and France 3, as well as on a range of popular satellite channels.
As well as the TV campaign, a separate online campaign will reach almost 14 million people – via catch-up TV sites, YouTube and Facebook. The ads will highlight the wide variety of things to see and do here, as well as our warm welcome for visitors – encouraging French holidaymakers to put the island of Ireland on their holiday ‘wish-list’ for 2018.
The online ads will also feature an attractive offer from airlines and ferry companies, including Aer Lingus, Brittany Ferries, Irish Ferries and Transavia – to encourage French travellers to book now.
France is one of the top four markets for tourism to the island of Ireland and 2017 was the fifth record-breaking year in a row for French visitors to Ireland.
“2017 was the best year ever for Irish tourism from France, when we welcomed almost 550,000 French visitors,” said Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Southern Europe. “We are now focused on the year ahead. We’re delighted to launch our TV campaign this weekend, when so many French will be watching the opening game of the Six Nations tournament against Ireland. Our aim is to build on the success of the past few years and continue to grow French visitor numbers.”
In 2018, Tourism Ireland in France will undertake a targeted programme of promotions. The TV campaign will be supported by extensive co-operative activity with partners such as Irish Ferries, Aer Lingus, Brittany Ferries, Ryanair, easyJet and Transavia. Tourism Ireland will continue to leverage its strength in digital and social media; the organisation now has around 199,000 French Facebook fans (4.1 million worldwide) and more than 34,000 followers on Twitter. Tourism Ireland will also ramp up its publicity programme in France – placing increased focus on digital channels and working more closely with online media, including bloggers. Top French tour operators and travel agents, as well as business tourism buyers, will be targeted through sales blitzes, workshops, familiarisation visits to Ireland and a major presence at IFTM (International French Travel Market) in Paris.