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Ireland’s Ancient East has been developed by Fáilte Ireland as a branded visitor experience showcasing Ireland’s living culture and ancient heritage that Ireland has to offer in the midlands/eastern half of the country. To date Fáilte Ireland has invested €31 million into developing the brand. Their long-term goal is to transform Ireland’s Ancient East into a popular tourist destination and for it be known as a distinctive cultural destination. In February 2018 they launched their ad campaign “Great Story’s Stay with You Forever”.
The target markets for Irelands Ancient East include:
They will “support industry partners to develop and deliver stories and world-class experiences in English initially and then provide support for businesses to translate the story experiences into other languages”. This is being done with the goal of making Irelands Ancient East more appealing to visitors from mainland Europe. Target Consumer SegmentsCulturally curious visitors are their key target segment. With a projected total of 31. 9 million of them in the selected target markets. 7 million of this market are considered warm leads and are there target.
Some key characteristics of Culturally curious visitors include that they put a lot of thought into the locations they go to and are independent sightseers looking to visit new places and amplify their experience by exploring history, landscapes, culture and architecture. They don’t visit the same place frequently, and often travel as a couple or individually and hardly ever as a family group. The age profile for this demographic is 40+. This segments reasons for visiting a destination can be summarised as follows:
“Take a short break in Ireland’s Ancient East and visit places filled with quirky and memorable experiences. Discover a region of legends and stories, from ancient times to modern day – a place brimming with culture, attractions, festivals and fun. Your adventure through Ireland’s Ancient East awaits!”
Media the campaign is running on. The campaign ran a tv advertisement from February 19th to March 26th on RTE, Virgin Media, Sky Ireland, Channel 4 and E4. It also was on national and local radio from March 19th to April 16th. They also have posted digital content throughout the year, increasing Ireland’s Ancient East online presence and brand awareness across there digital platforms which include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. The campaign also ran on some outdoor advertising.
Fáilte Ireland has collaborated with the Office of Public Works (OPW), Coillte a commercial forestry business, Waterways Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS). These strategic partnerships with key players involved in managing and running sites crucial to Irish tourism. Under this program they have invested in improving visitor experiences at key sites. By working together, they have been able to gain more publicity in the media and increase their reach.
To increase the brands presence across key areas, Irelands Ancient East are continuing to implement their signage plan. The goal is to update signs at historic signs and make them more appealing to visitors while also integrating Irelands Ancient East branding on the signs. They are also implementing cross-selling signage encourage visitors to explore the Ancient Easts other attractions. The goal of this signage is to influence the visitor to go see the other sites the Ancient East has to offer. This ties back to the overall goal of the increasing the length of time the tourists spend in Ireland.
Several new festivals are taking place across Irelands Ancient East during throughout 2018 including a Halloween Festival, a Viking Coast Experience and an International Gateway Garden Festival. All these festivals are aimed at specifically at the target audience with a goal of bringing overseas visitors to Irelands Ancient East.
Irelands Ancient East has released two toolkits for businesses in the region to collaborate and help grow the Ancient East brand while also increasing their own business. The first toolkit “Telling our stories Together” teaches the business owners how to integrate the Ancient East brand into their business using social media and online platforms. The other toolkit “Storytelling Interpretation – How to Help Visitors Experience Your Story” teaches the businesses the marketing and storytelling skills they need to take advantage of the heritage and the culture of the Ancient East. These storytelling skills are key for attracting tourists to the Ancient East and enhancing their visitor experience once they are there.
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