Am­bi­tious mar­ket­ing plans to tar­get UK tourists an­nounced

New Ross Standard - - NEWS -

PLANS to pro­mote the Hook Penin­sula to cap­i­talise on a boom pe­riod in Ir­ish tourism were un­veiled at the Hook Tourism AGM in St Mary’s Hall, Fethard-on-Sea.

The AGM was at­tended by around 50 tourism operators and com­mu­nity ac­tivists in the area. Hook Tourism Chair­per­son Philip Wal­lace said: ‘ There has never been a bet­ter time to be in­volved in tourism in this coun­try and we all have good reasons to be op­ti­mistic.’

The com­pany is funded to the tune of €280,000 by CE Schemes and €70,000 from Pobal. The not-for­profit com­pany’s mar­ket­ing divi­sion is headed up by Graham Doyle of Hook Head Ad­ven­tures. Hav­ing over­come a mi­nor wi-fi is­sue in the old hall, Graham gave a pre­sen­ta­tion in which he de­scribed Hook Tourism as a des­ti­na­tion mar­ket­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion. Graham said: ‘We are like the builders of 2008. We are boom­ing. Maybe the Bri­tish vis­i­tors will plateau next year but we are look­ing at another in­crease so it is im­por­tant that we take our piece of the pie. We have to ac­tively go out and get that.’

Vis­i­tor spend for County Wex­ford in

2017 was largely on ac­com­mo­da­tion and food. 30 per cent was spent on B&B ac­com­mo­da­tion, 36 per cent for food and bev­er­ages, with 6 per cent for sight­see­ing. ‘Brand iden­tity is huge. We are talking in our tourism strat­egy about pos­si­bly cre­at­ing a new brand for Hook Tourism, as well as a new web­site and that brand­ing fun­nels down to ev­ery­thing we do so that we are a recog­nis­able brand, do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.’

New brochures, maps with il­lus­tra­tions and ad­di­tional mar­ket­ing are be­ing pro­duced and de­vel­oped. Graham said 1,700 peo­ple a month vis­it­ing the Hook Tourism web­site, with 60 per cent vis­it­ing the web­site by mo­bile phones. ‘ They are look­ing at what’s on. Peo­ple want to know what events are on down on the Hook. Over­whelm­ingly 75 per cent are vis­it­ing from places around Ire­land. That tells us where we need to grow the mar­ket.’

He said 8.1 per cent from the UK is minute. ‘ There is a mar­ket that is al­most un­ex­plored in terms of ac­tu­ally go­ing af­ter that mar­ket. So­cial me­dia is huge and one of the plans is to have a bud­get and in­vest in a paid mar­ket­ing cam­paign that will go af­ter key po­ten­tial cus­tomers. We plan to har­ness the power of so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers. These peo­ple are al­most as cred­i­ble as talking to your friend.’

The com­pany is or­gan­is­ing a fa­mil­iari­sa­tion trip with key blog­gers and in­flu­encers. ‘If they read about what a blog­ger has ex­pe­ri­enced on the Hook Penin­sula they are go­ing to want to do it too. We will be kick­ing off strong with that cam­paign in Jan­uary.’

Philip said with FLAG, Fáilte Ire­land and other fund­ing streams com­ing on board, there is much cause for hope of another great sea­son in 2019. He thanked the staff of Hook Tourism.

He said: ‘None of this is pos­si­ble with­out our CE Scheme and the work they put in. We want to thank each and ev­ery one of the par­tic­i­pants. The staff at the Hook Tourism of­fice are on a train­ing scheme while ef­fec­tively car­ry­ing out the work of a pro­fes­sional mar­ket­ing body so thank you for all of the work you put in.’

Philip praised Alan Ryan and his team for all of the work car­ried out im­prov­ing Colclough Gar­dens. He thanked district di­rec­tor Ea­monn Hore and man­ager Sinead Casey for their sup­port of projects on the Hook and Hook Tourism di­rec­tors. Mr Hore said the New Ross district has more wow things for tourists to visit on the penin­sula than any­where in Wex­ford.

Hook Tourism chair­per­son Philip Wal­lace.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.