Tourism Ireland and IDA Ireland on hunt for agencies

Two bodies promoting Ireland as a destination for business and leisure are seeking PR agencies as the country gears up for a profitable 2010.

Giant's Causeway: £3m lottery grant
Giant's Causeway: £3m lottery grant

Tourism Ireland is looking to promote Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as tourism destinations. The brief is worth £125,000.

The news comes as it was announced last week that the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland's only World Heritage site, has been awarded a £3m grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to build a new visitor centre.

Tourism Ireland wants to attract more visitors from the UK mainland, Ireland's largest tourist market. About five million visitors are expected to visit from Britain this year.

The new agency will be in place by June and will report to Tourism Ireland publicity manager John Lahiffe. The cutoff point for initial applications is today (Friday).

Tourism Ireland currently uses BGB Communications, which has been working for the quango for eight years.

Meanwhile, IDA Ireland,the body responsible for bringing inward investment into Ireland, is looking for European PR support in key markets.

Head of communications Trevor Holmes is leading the agency search and is planning to have it in place by the second quarter of 2010.

The agency will support the body in attracting investment from the areas of high-end manufacturing, global services and research, development and innovation.


- TREVOR HOLMES, head of communications, IDA Ireland

The IDA will publish a business strategy for up to 2020 in this quarter, and the appointed agency will be supporting that.

The issues it will be dealing with are the future of the Irish economy and the growing sectors and skills there. We want to tell our story on our terms.

- JOHN LAHIFFE, Publicity manager, Tourism Ireland

We want to make as much positive noise as possible. A big issue is differentiation. What makes Ireland different from Britain? In many ways it's the same, but also different - we want to emphasise the differences. Another challenge is the view that it's an expensive place to visit.

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