TOURISM IRELAND are teaming up with British Airways as part of a new campaign to promote Ireland to British tourists.
The drive is aimed at promoting flights from London’s Heathrow Airport to Dublin and Belfast as the number of British visitors to the Emerald Isle continues to plummet.
The campaign will also highlight driving holidays along Ireland’s picturesque Wild Atlantic Way, Ancient East and Causeway Coastal Route.
It will reach audiences through online ads, articles about the island of Ireland on the Apple News app, as well as ads on Facebook.
These will be connected to the British Airways booking page, and a special Ireland landing page on the BA website.
British Airways is owned by the International Airlines Group (IAG), which also owns Irish airline Aer Lingus.
Britain is one of Tourism Ireland's priority markets, delivering 47 per cent of all overseas visitors and around 30 per cent of all overseas tourism revenue.
But visitor numbers from Britain have continued to fall since last year’s Brexit vote – with the most recent figures indicating a 6.4 per cent drop in the first six months of 2017.
It is a worrying trend BA and Tourism Ireland hope to combat with their new joint campaign.
— Tourism Ireland (@TourismIreland) July 31, 2017
Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Britain, said the decline in the value of sterling since the Brexit vote has negatively affected one of Ireland’s most 'vital' markets.
“Britain delivers 47 per cent of all overseas visitors and around 30 per cent of all overseas tourism revenue,” she said.
“However, the decline in the value of sterling is certainly a challenge for Irish tourism from Britain this year, which means that competitiveness and the value for money message are more important than ever."
CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons said the decline in sterling has made holidays and short breaks in Ireland more expensive for British visitors.
“Economic uncertainty is undoubtedly making British travellers more cautious about their discretionary spending,” he said.
"This is impacting on travel to Ireland. Therefore, competitiveness and the value for money message are more important than ever in Britain right now.
"Tourism Ireland is placing a greater focus on our ‘culturally curious’ audience, who are less impacted by currency fluctuations.
“We are also undertaking an expanded partnership programme with partners, like this campaign with British Airways, communicating a strong price-led message.”