Tourism Ireland has been voted the number two tourist board in Germany, by a jury of some 139 influential journalists – including editors of national and local newspapers, travel and special interest magazines, as well as freelance and online journalists.
For the 12th year in a row, the Tourism Ireland publicity team was named in the Top 10 among all tourist boards represented in Germany, in the annual ‘Verkehrsbüro des Jahres’ awards. The criteria under which the tourist boards were evaluated for this award included: product knowledge, comprehensive replies to enquiries, organisational skills and creativity.
Tourism Ireland was ranked second overall and took first place for creativity. The overall ranking of destinations in the awards was: Switzerland, Ireland, France, Austria, Canada, Norway, Spain, the German Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Great Britain and Denmark. In all, some 53 destinations were considered in the nominations by the German journalists.
Zoë Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s manager Central Europe, said: “We are delighted to have been voted number two tourist board once again this year by the jury of German journalists. We are constantly looking at new and engaging ways of highlighting the island of Ireland to the media – so we are particularly honoured to receive this award. A key element of our annual promotional programme involves working with German travel and lifestyle media and bloggers, to ensure they write or broadcast extensively about the island of Ireland as a holiday destination.”
Tourism Ireland aims to build on the success of 2015, which was the best year ever for tourism from Germany, with visitor numbers increasing by +13% over 2014. Zoë Redmond continued: “Germany is the third-largest market for tourism to Ireland and is estimated to be worth close to €400 million annually to our economy. Last year was another record year for Irish tourism from Germany – when we welcomed almost 630,000 German visitors, an increase of +13% on 2014. Tourism Ireland is rolling out an extensive programme of promotional activity again in 2016 – to keep the momentum going and build on that growth.
More than 14 million Germans have been seeing ads for Ireland on national TV this spring; the Tourism Ireland campaign kicked off earlier this year, on channels like ARD, Sat1, RTL, VOX and Kabel 1. An online video campaign is running on Facebook; and information about the island of Ireland has also been placed on premium sites such as focus.de. In 2016, Tourism Ireland will invite 230 top German journalists to visit the island of Ireland – generating positive publicity worth more than €45 million. Co-operative campaigns with carriers like Aer Lingus and Irish Ferries are promoting ease of access to Ireland from Germany; and Tourism Ireland is also working with major tour operators like Dertour and online travel agents such as Opodo and Weg.de. More co-op campaigns with other key partners will be rolled out during the year.