Tourism bosses have unveiled their €18million plan to attract visitors to ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ and increase revenue by up to 26%.
The Ireland’s Ancient East brand has been in the pipeline for a couple of years now and tourism bodies are hoping it can help the east enjoy the same success that the west of the country has had thanks to the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’.
Fáilte Ireland have now unveiled the Ireland’s Ancient East website which is full of information about the history of both the various places in the East and the people who lived there.
It shows how there is plenty on offer for both overseas visitors and Irish tourists to check out.
Jenny De Saulles, head of Ireland’s Ancient East, said: “Particularly in this part of the country the international market has underperformed, we have only had 23% of international visitors and 11% of revenue.
“Visitors were telling us they didn’t really understand what to see and do in the area, they thought it was this kind of green land so ‘why would I come here?’
“So what we are doing now is giving them reasons to come. The Wild Atlantic Way was the first brand that we did and that worked and we have actually seen the positivity of bringing everything together under one umbrella.
“The thing is with Ireland if you take an actual scale it really does do good things.”
The tourism industry is set to invest €18million in Ireland’s Ancient East. The money will be spent on both developing the regions and marketing the brand to tourists at home and abroad.
Two of the key markets are the UK and the US, where the campaign has already begun.
De Saulles said: “Our sister agency Tourism Ireland have been incredibly supportive of the brand and all of their core markets did a digital campaign abroad.
“They did have a TV campaign and there was sponsorship around Downton Abbey.
“In the UK market they’ve done some radio and digital advertising and they are going to do more advertising at the back end of the year.”
Fáilte Ireland will also look to promote Ireland’s Ancient East to domestic holiday makers and there are some exciting changes in the pipeline.
De Saulles said: “John Creedon did a show on RTÉ last year, John Creedon’s Wild Atlantic Way and is doing John Creedon’s Epic East this June.
“What the visitor is looking for is an immersive experience so that they can almost experience history.
“There’s a great project being developed in Cork for example, there is a project around the Titanic where people gave their personal stories of what happened so they’re telling the story and also bringing it to life.”
Ireland’s Ancient East covers 18 counties and can be broken down into four distinct areas of interest; Ancient Ireland, Early Christian Ireland, Medieval Ireland and Anglo-Ireland.
For each group there are several fascinating places to visit that will help tourists discover and understand more about Ireland’s history.