Tourism Minister Catherine Martin promotes Ireland in the United States


This visit is supporting Tourism Ireland’s Green Button campaign which is laying the foundations for a strong return in growth from the USA market in 2022, writes Shauna McCrudden

Tourism Minister Catherine Martin and Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, for the US launch of Tourism Ireland’s new ‘Green Button’ promotional campaign

Tourism Minister Catherine Martin will join Tourism Ireland in Chicago and New York this week. She will undertake a busy programme of tourism, sporting and cultural engagements to promote Ireland in the US.

This will be the first major in-person series of promotional events undertaken by Tourism Ireland in the United States, since the outbreak of Covid-19. The aim of the visit is to position the country well for 2022 and to create ‘stand-out’ for Ireland against competitor destinations.

The visit is helping to support Tourism Ireland’s ‘Green Button’ campaign which will go live in the US on 27th September. This is helping to re-start tourism and encourage Americans to book Ireland as their next holiday destination. The €4.1 million campaign will target six key gateways and 11 priority cities, to reach and engage audiences who have the highest potential to travel to the island of Ireland.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, said, “My message this week will be that we are open for business and looking forward to welcoming Americans back to Ireland. I know that Tourism Ireland has put a huge amount of work into the Green Button campaign and I have no doubt that it will resonate with our American friends. Now that our economy and society has reopened, it is opportune to show Americans what they have been missing.”

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Over the coming days, Minister Martin’s schedule will include:

  • business roundtable lunches with leading travel trade, carrier and media contacts in Chicago and New York;
  • promoting Ireland at the Ryder Cup 2020 at Whistling Straits;
  • meetings with the organisers of the annual Milwaukee Irish Fest, as well as with representatives of Notre Dame Athletics and the Notre Dame Institute for Irish Studies;
  • a meeting with Tourism Ireland’s Marketing Partnership Group, who are key representatives of the US travel sector;
  • meeting with Irish artists at the Irish Arts Center in New York; and
  • a programme of interviews with travel, sport and Diaspora media outlets in Chicago and New York.

Catherine Martin TD, added, “I am very pleased to come to the US this week to lend my support to Tourism Ireland’s efforts to get tourism going again from the United States into Ireland. My schedule includes key engagements with the travel trade, airline interests and the media as we thankfully roll out the green carpet for US tourists once more.

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“I also have engagements relating to other areas of my portfolio including cultural and sporting interests. I’m looking forward to seeing what opportunities the Ryder Cup will present when it returns to Ireland in 2027.”

The United States is the second-largest source market for tourism to the island of Ireland. In 2019, Ireland welcomed 1.7 million American visitors. It is the most important market in terms of revenue, responsible for 27% of all tourist revenue. Revenue generated by American visitors in 2019 was €1.6 billion.

Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Minister Martin is joining us for the first time in the United States. We believe the time is now right to get back out into the international marketplace. Over the coming days, Minister Martin will have the opportunity to hear about the importance of the USA market first-hand from our key media, travel trade and carrier partners. She will be assuring them that we look forward to working closely with them in the months and years ahead – to rebuild tourism from the USA to Ireland, for the long-term sustainable future of our industry.

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“Our focus is on rebuilding consumer confidence, in order to drive a strong recovery. Restoring air connectivity is also a key priority for us in the USA; as an island destination, connectivity is critical for the success of inbound tourism. The United States is a fiercely competitive market; every destination has experienced the impact of Covid and is now seeking their share of the recovery. We will be pulling out all the stops to set the island of Ireland apart from our competitor destinations. From next week, we will roll out our new ‘Green Button’ campaign in the USA. Our message is that we cannot wait to welcome back American visitors to Ireland, for a fantastic vacation experience.”

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