Minister Varadkar’s €9m Winter Marketing Tourism Initiative – a welcome boost for Shannon Airport.

October 17th, 2011 - Pat Breen

Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs & Trade Pat Breen has described the €9 Winter Marketing Tourism Initiative announced on Friday last by the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar T.D. as “innovative and a welcome boost for passenger traffic at Shannon Airport”.

The new initiative will result in a series of joint cooperative marketing campaigns between Tourism Ireland and private operators which will promote Ireland to around 20 million potential overseas visitors over the coming months. The “Home of Champions” campaign will also be extended to promote golfing holidays in Ireland, on the back of Irish major golf winners.

“Tourism is an important revenue generator for this Economy and accounts for approximately €4.8 billion in business or some 5.5% of our GDP. Earlier this year, I was disappointed that the airlines did not respond to the Minister Varadkar’s proposals following the reduction in the travel tax as part of our Jobs Initiative,
now, the Transport Minister is once again leading the way with his innovative proposal to fund a major marketing campaign from the monies collected from this tax and I am delighted that the airlines and travel agents have signed up for the campaign.”

“During my contribution to the National Tourism Development Bill in the Dail recently, I called for a more targeted approach to marketing given that Ryanair had already teamed up with Failte Ireland to provide a “gold bags fly free” offer on flights from UK Airport to their six Irish Airports from the 1st September to 7th November. They are now set to expand their marketing approach and will offer attractive fares into Shannon Airport from Great Britain and will run adverts in the major UK regional and national newspapers as well as radio ads throughout the UK.”

“Aer Lingus will also run a promotional campaign in Great Britain and their print and radio ads will promote their routes from London, Manchester and Birmingham into Shannon Airport with a particular focus on regional titles, in line with Tourism Ireland’s region-to-region approach to capitalise on the access links between specific areas of GB and the regions in Ireland”

“This marketing blitz in the UK will particularly benefit the Shannon Region given the number of routes which Aer Lingus and Ryanair operate into Shannon Airport from the UK.”

“I very much welcome the “season extension” initiative in the US market which is designed to drive business over the winter period and will target about 18 million consumers. As part of that campaign a two-week radio campaign will promote Ireland’s west coast and routes into Shannon Airport. While it is disappointing that once again Aer Lingus w