Summer 2011 Discover Ireland Campaign Launched

Varadkar, Ring & Kelly launch major Discover Ireland/Irish Rail summer tourism package

Holiday in Ireland in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth II & President Obama

Aoife Ward, Kelly Ogunlana, Joaquin Shinbach and Erick Davis help Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar along with Shaun Quinn, CEO, launch the new Discover Ireland summer campaign.

A major domestic tourism package including the €1 million Discover Ireland Summer 2011 promotion campaign and discounts of up to 50% for weekend rail travel has been launched today (Wednesday) by Minster for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar and his colleagues, Ministers of State Michael Ring and Alan Kelly.

The dual package is good news for both Irish holidaymakers and tourism businesses:

• The 2011 Discover Ireland promotional campaign will be the biggest ever with €1 million allocated;
• A 50% discount on online rail tickets for Saturday travel and some Sunday services to promote weekend away-breaks from anywhere in Ireland;
• A new Discover Ireland smart phone ‘app’ which uses your current location to recommend what to do and where to stay, and gives details of special offers;
• A €20 Day Return fare from Dublin to anywhere in the Republic of Ireland by rail on Saturdays (€10 for children, €50 for a family of two adults and up to four children);
• A re-vamped  Fáilte Ireland website with more video and an enhanced search facility, and a promotional campaign on social media;
• And senior citizens from overseas will be able to travel anywhere within the Iarnród Éireann network for a maximum fare of €26 return, being administered by Fáilte Ireland.

Launching the package, Minister Varadkar said it was further proof of the Government’s commitment to developing the tourism industry, and shows how the combined Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport is already having an impact: ‘Queen Elizabeth II and President Barack Obama have discovered Ireland for themselves. Now we’re urging everyone who lives in Ireland to follow in their footsteps and re-discover their country. Tourism is key to our economic recovery. Domestic tourism in particular generates more than €1.3 billion annually, and Irish tourists account for two thirds of all hotel bed nights in this country. So it makes perfect sense to build on this base’.

“I’m especially pleased to launch such a strong package of measures for domestic tourism. The Discover Ireland Summer 2011 campaign goes hand in glove with Irish Rail’s offer of up to 50% discounts for weekend travel. I look forward to an ongoing positive commitment from Irish Rail to tourism. And thanks to the government’s Jobs Initiative, tourism businesses should be able to offer even better value for money this year.”

Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring said: ‘This year I am encouraging everyone to consider holidaying at home. Fáilte Ireland is making it easier than ever to find out what to do, and where to go. Their website has been updated, and more than €1 million will be invested in the ‘Discover Ireland’ summer campaign.  Recent research shows a 33% increase in Irish people planning to take their main family holiday in Ireland this year, so we are hoping that the 2011 season will see vigorous growth. Irish Rail and Fáilte Ireland will also continue working closely together to promote rail breaks all summer long within the Discover Ireland programme’.

Minister for Public Transport & Commuter Policy Alan Kelly is particularly delighted to be supporting the package as he established the first ever Discover Ireland website during his time with Fáilte Ireland: ‘I am honoured to be supporting this as a Minister in the Department, considering I was there when Discover Ireland was first launched’.

“This package should encourage people out of their cars and out to the countryside. Rail is an excellent way of getting around the country and this would encourage activity tourism which has great potential in Ireland. I would also hope that people might use this over the GAA season, combining their holidays with matches.”

Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn emphasised that the agency is committed to pursuing every possible opportunity to maximise tourism revenues and growth: ‘Accounting for seven out of ten hotel beds and half of all leisure trips, home holidays have never been so important to tourism. Our Discover Ireland Summer 2011 campaign is designed to ensure that those who want fun and value for all the family choose Ireland rather than abroad. Research shows that 33% more Irish people are planning to take their main holiday at home in Ireland this year. Our campaign is aimed towards making that decision more likely.

“Word of mouse and word of mouth will drive people’s decisions and, accordingly, we have significantly ramped up our website and social media capability. With our new iPhone app, for example, holiday makers will have a tourism office in their pocket wherever they go and the revamped website has never been so easy to use. Fáilte Ireland also welcomes today’s agreement from Iarnród Éireann to provide weekend deals to boost the holiday market. Initiatives such as this, combined with our greatest marketing push yet, will ensure that the tourism industry gets back on track in 2011 and that Irish consumers enjoy more value and choices than ever before.”

Also speaking at the launch, CEO of Irish Rail Dick Fearn said: ‘We are delighted to offer these value fares to customers travelling with Iarnród Éireann this summer. We look forward to welcoming new customers on board, and by providing strong value – along with our other online promotions – give a boost to the home market looking for value breaks in Ireland’.


Department of Transport: Nick Miller 086 6992080

Fáilte Ireland: Alex Connolly 086 7966320

Irish Rail: Barry Kenny 087 2381224
Discover Ireland Summer 2011

Failte Ireland announce major stimulus to domestic tourism economy.

The Summer Discover Ireland Campaign will launch on Friday May 27th. There are five key elements to the campaign:

1. Discover Ireland Holiday Guide
¾ of a Million Discover Ireland Holiday Guides will be distributed from Saturday, available through Tourist Offices and in several National Newspapers (including The Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Sunday Independent and Belfast Telegraph).

The guide will contain over 230 special offers with a strong emphasis on Family Breaks. There is a broad selection of destinations including seaside and lakeside breaks, city breaks, activity breaks and accommodation options from hotels to guesthouses B&B’s, self-catering holiday homes and caravan and camping parks. The Holiday guide is full of ideas and suggestions – family festivals, fun attractions and adventures for kids (island boat trips; dolphin and whale watching; GAA Cúl Camps; Fun Museums; Animal Magic; Sea-Life Centres; water-worlds, and will also be available online at

2. Discover Ireland Website
The Website has been redesigned and re-engineered to significantly enhance the navigation, ease of use, and general experience on the website. Substantially more imagery and videos are now incorporated into the site to better showcase Ireland as a world class holiday destination.
Navigation for the user has also been greatly enhanced with our new search facility. Now the visitor can easily get to what they are looking for within 3-4 clicks.

Social media is a growing phenomenon and all aspects of social media have been incorporated into the site (Face book, Twitter etc.), which encourages greater engagement from the Irish consumer.

3 New Discover Ireland Mobile ‘App’
Complementing the new Discover Ireland website, Failte Ireland will launch a new ‘app’ for those visitors on the move and will enable the user to check on

• Things to do
• Where to stay
• What’s On
• Special Offers

Users can either select by county or their GPS location, if they are out an about, to find a restaurant close by, a good place to stay the night or if there is a good walk nearby. There is also a full listing of festivals and events and these can be filtered by dates so you are sure not to miss anything. The app is available for all smart phone platforms i.e. iPhone, Android & Blackberry.

4. Discover Ireland Advertising Campaign
The 2011 summer campaign for Discover Ireland will be the biggest campaign ever ran by Failte Ireland and will incorporate TV, Radio, Press, Cinema, and Online. The campaign will continue the successful “Fun Starts Here” commercials which have proven to be extremely effective in showcasing Ireland as a holiday destination. The specific focus of the campaign will be on family breaks this summer.

5. Discover Ireland Promotional Programme
Discover Ireland will be running a huge number of promotions throughout the summertime on TV, radio, press and web with all the major media. The promotional programme will kick off on Friday 27th May with a feature in RTE’s Late Late Show. Other highlights will include a weekly ‘what’s on’ guides with TV3, a festival tour with News talk, weekly holiday guides on all regional radio stations, weekly promotions in Irish Times ‘Go’ magazine, and a series of bespoke promotions on Today FM.

Overall Failte Ireland will invest over €1million Euro in the “Discover Ireland” summer campaign. The domestic market is now the biggest segment of Ireland’s tourism industry, accounting for 2/3 of all hotel bed nights and generating over €1.3 billion in revenue for Irelands tourism industry.

The 2011 season, could yet prove to be a strong one for Irish Holidays as recent research released by Mintel shows that these is a 33% increase in Irish people planning to take their main family holiday in Ireland this year.

Irish Rail have also announced a series of promotional and discounted fares for the summer and will be working with Failte Ireland to promote rail breaks all summer long within the discover Ireland programme. Further details of the rail breaks can be found on or

Irish Rail offer

The offer includes:

• 50% discount on tickets booked online for travel on Saturdays and some services on Sundays during the summer period.
• A €20 Day Return fare from Dublin to anywhere in the Republic of Ireland by rail on Saturdays (€10 for children, €50 for a family of 2 adults and up to 4 children)
These offers will complement Iarnród Éireann’s existing range of discount online fares, starting at €10 each way on all Intercity routes, as well as travel products such as:

• Trekker ticket: four days unlimited travel anywhere on the Iarnród Éireann network for €100
• DART and Commuter Day Pass: €14.70 for unlimited travel for a family of 2 adults and up to 4 children
• The company is also putting in place an offer for senior citizens from overseas who will be able to travel anywhere within the Iarnród Éireann network for a maximum fare of €26 return.  This offer is being administered by Fáilte Ireland.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.