Snow Patrol Tunes Into Irish Tourism Boost

The North's Tourism Minister Arlene Foster is going 'pop' and has unveiled plans to increase the number of overseas holidaymakers to the island of Ireland with support from rock band Snow Patrol.

The Co Down group will feature in a new campaign aimed at boosting tourism by 20% in 2012.

The TV advertisement is set to new music from Snow Patrol with Tourism Ireland hoping to build on a successful 2011 with the MTV EMA Awards in Belfast and also the high profile wins of golfers Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

The TV advertisements, to be screened in January to feature a track from Snow Patrol's latest album and additional radio, press, cinema and online advertising means the campaign will target 22 markets around the world with an estimated annual audience of 60million potential visitors.

Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: "2011 has seen significant growth in overseas tourism in the first six months and visitor numbers are forecast to reach 1.51 million for the year, a 6% increase on 2010."

Stormont Minister Arlene Foster said: "Tourism Ireland is planning the most extensive programme of marketing activity and campaigns ever undertaken for Northern Ireland, and there has never been a better time to do so than in 2012.

"It is the year when Northern Ireland will take centre stage with new, iconic visitor attractions, unprecedented events and historic anniversaries.

"NI 2012 offers a unique opportunity to change perceptions and confidently put Northern Ireland on the global tourism map - and the signs are already encouraging.

"Statistics for the first six months of 2011 show an 11% increase in visitors from overseas with growth from all major markets, including the very important GB market.

"We must continue to capitalise on NI 2012 by maximising visitor numbers and ensuring that the momentum created by its positive legacy, and the associated growth in tourism, continues well beyond next year," she said.

Tourism Ireland's targets could see Northern Ireland welcoming 1.66 million overseas visitors in 2012; representing growth in total visitors of 10% and 20% in holidaymakers.

The DUP Executive Minister Arlene Foster concluded: "Belfast has already been voted one of the world's Top 20 best places to visit next year by National Geographic's 'Traveller' magazine and I have no doubt Northern Ireland will continue to achieve top billing as the exciting programme of events unfolds in the coming months."


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