Young Actors to Promote Tourism

Some of Ireland's best young actors will feature in a new campaign by Tourism Ireland aimed at getting more people to visit the country.

New advertisements featuring actors Sharon Horgan from Bad Sisters, as well as Derry Girls Saoirse Monica Jackson and Jamie-Lee O'Donnell form part of a marketing spend of €78m to help restore visitor numbers to pre-pandemic levels.

Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons explained that the ads will be played all over the world, and beginning on St Patrick’s Day they will be shown in the top four markets of the US, UK, Germany and France.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said the levels of tourism in 2019 saw 11.3 milion visitors come to Ireland spending almost €6bn. Last year, numbers were back to about 75% of that, thanks to a very strong performance in the second half of the year. Mr Gibbons said this year is expected to be "another good year".

"The demand indicators from the USA are very strong, mainland Europe reasonably good, Britain a mixed bag at the moment," he said.

He said that films and television have also helped to promote Ireland as a destination, with Star Wars and Game of Thrones.

"We had great success here over the last decade with the big hits like Star Wars and Game of Thrones filmed in Ireland, and we're able to piggyback on the back of it, but that success has continued," Mr Gibbons said.

"And just with the Banshees [of Inisherin], for example, we had already been promoting that in our top four markets around the globe. Our video that we did with the producer and actors has actually been seen 10.6 million times."

Mr Gibbons said Ireland is a competitive destination for people to get to as accessibility is very good value. He said "at peak times of the year accommodation can be expensive" but compared to other destinations, he said Ireland ranks reasonably well.