Tuesday, 17 May 2022
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
As the Deputy is aware, the tourism sector has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic so I was pleased to secure a record level of funding for tourism in Budget 2022 of €288.5 million in total, an increase of €67.5 million over the 2021 allocation. The allocation includes a €35 million increase to the Tourism Marketing Fund to support the delivery of a marketing strategy to help restore inbound tourism to Ireland.
€5 million of the €35 million was secured to begin preparations for a themed year project aimed at attracting overseas visitors to Ireland to celebrate our authentic arts, culture and heritage. This project will provide an excellent opportunity to aid the recovery in multiple sectors that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Officials in the Department, in consultation with the tourism agencies, are currently considering what type of project would best meet this Programme for Government commitment as well as the most opportune time for delivery of such an initiative.
The remaining €30 million will enable Tourism Ireland to significantly increase investment in its overseas marketing programmes and will enable Fáilte Ireland to increase investment in its domestic marketing campaigns.
As part of its marketing strategy, Tourism Ireland has established a recovery framework which will be underpinned by an extensive programme of promotional activity throughout 2022. The organisation has a flexible, three-phase plan to RESTART, REBUILD and ultimately REDESIGN demand. Over €80 million will be invested in the programme in 2022, which will allow Tourism Ireland to ramp up its campaigns in key international markets.
Tourism Ireland’s Green Button campaign will continue to drive demand throughout 2022, with it’s largest-ever TV campaign running in our top four markets, namely Great Britain, the United States, Germany and France. This campaign will also be expanded in Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Nordic countries, Switzerland, Austria, Canada and the UAE.
Tourism Ireland will continue to work with airlines and ferry companies through a programme of jointly funded marketing initiatives to support the restoration of air and sea access routes which are so vital for tourism’s return to growth.
Fáilte Ireland are doubling their domestic marketing investment in 2020 to €10 million to drive domestic demand including short breaks all year round. In that regard, they have embarked on extensive marketing and communications campaigns, including their "Keep Discovering" campaign, which continues to encourage domestic holidaymakers to take vacations in Ireland, particularly during quieter shoulder seasons. The campaign is designed to both inspire visitors to travel and then offer world-class tourism regions and destinations in Ireland to visit and experience.
Fáilte Ireland is also using its sponsorship of RTÉ Weather as a platform to promote its Keep Discovering campaign. This platform serves as a means to remind viewers of opportunities to take short breaks, such as bank holidays, festivals and events.