Written answers

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Tourism Promotion

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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16. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if additional measures will be implemented to promote tourism in the Hidden Heartlands Region for the 2022 season in view of the difficulties facing this sector due to the pandemic since early 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22162/22]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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In Budget 2022, I secured an additional €67.6 million funding for tourism, thereby bringing the overall tourism services budget to €288 million.  Part of this funding will enable the tourism agencies to market Ireland's tourism offering, including the Ireland's Hidden Heartlands brand, at home and abroad.  Fáilte Ireland's plans for 2022 include driving demand through a doubling of investment in domestic marketing to €10 million, which they are using to encourage short breaks all year round.  They have embarked on extensive marketing and communications campaigns, which continue to encourage domestic holidaymakers to take vacations in Ireland, particularly during quieter shoulder seasons. 

Fáilte Ireland’s ‘Keep Discovering’ Domestic Marketing Campaign was launched on 12th  February and includes the promotion of Ireland and each of the regional brand experiences – Dublin, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands – across radio, TV, press, social media and digital platforms, with the objective of driving the recovery of domestic tourism by inspiring more people to explore more areas of the country and experience the joy of discovery that a home holiday can bring. Specifically, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands will be promoted for approximately 12 weeks with a TV advertisement airing nationally and in Northern Ireland, as well as through dedicated radio, press, and social media, and the region will also feature across PR, digital and media partnerships throughout the summer. This represents an increase of eight weeks' airtime on the 2021 schedule when the Ireland's Hidden Heartlands advertisement ran over a four-week period.

Tourism Ireland continues to promote Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands around the world – across a range of platforms including on Ireland.com and through social media; at major international consumer and trade fairs; through familiarisation visits for influential travel agents, tour operators, as well as international travel and lifestyle journalists, influencers and bloggers; and through Tourism Ireland’s promotional material including market guides and brochures.

As announced on 9th February by Fáilte Ireland, counties Cavan, Westmeath and Offaly will now sit wholly within the Ireland's Hidden Heartlands brand and will no longer be part of the Ireland's Ancient East brand.  Furthermore, a slightly greater portion of County Tipperary will also be encompassed within the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands brand (namely all the Nenagh Municipal District and part of the Thurles Municipal District).  The expanded footprint for Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands will give visitors a more cohesive visitor experience in the area, strengthen the brand's tourism offering and will allow Fáilte Ireland to further raise awareness of the region domestically and internationally.  Fáilte Ireland launched a Destination Experience Development Plan for Lough Derg in April 2021 and intends to develop and launch four other Plans for the region, which will further enhance the appeal of destinations within the Ireland's Hidden Heartlands brand region.

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