Not too much being said by Tourism Ireland in terms of real Guidance on COVID-19

Image credit Irish Times and ROBBIE REYNOLDS - Link

We think they should focus on protecting Ireland’s Tourism ‘Characters’ – Like your woman in the photo standing outside a cave.

Marketing any Tourism business or project is going to be extremely challenging now and will be in the future, sincerely… we hope you all make it to the other end.

Sadly, some will not make it through this, and it may be time to consider plans for dormant operational status. Marketing cannot fix everything, and the PESTLE influences of COVID-19 mean some tourism operators have some exceedingly difficult decisions…. Not least, what to do with your colleagues.

Personally, we do think Tourism Ireland could do a bit more in terms of communicating with tourism providers and parties about the impacts of COVID-19 on tourism across the Ireland of Ireland and how to plan ahead strategically – Spending more money on overseas tourism marketing is one proposition suggested from them…..Do you agree?

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said (On 6th October 2020) “I therefore welcome the call to double the overseas tourism marketing fund, to €94 million, to help protect Ireland’s strong brand position in the international marketplace and to kick-start the recovery in overseas tourism. I also welcome the recommendation of a €92 million Industry Activation Fund, over three years, to enable our industry partners to undertake extensive sales and marketing activities. Other key overseas recommendations include supporting our air and sea access sector, which is vital for connectivity.”

Maybe we do not fully understand their remits and tourism strategy – maybe it is up to others like Failte Ireland and Discover Northern Ireland to work on the ground….but then maybe it should be up to Tourism Ireland to use some of that ‘world-class marketing’ talent they have and provide more information and direction to the industry here, instead of “closely monitoring the situation”.

What is the point in having “€94 million, to help protect Ireland’s strong brand position” if there are no products in the brand to promote – or at least the same level and the individuals to run it…..What is lost on many Tourism big wigs, is that many people buy into people, we don’t have that many world class tourism products here, despite what some think….but what we do have, is world class ‘Characters and Hospitality’ – COVID-19 will destroy much of that unless we protect them.

Niall Gibbons continued: “We will be ready on the ground to roll out an extensive recovery kick-start programme, when the time is right. Our focus is on having promotional campaigns which will be ready to go, once there are signs that consumers overseas are getting back on the move and that Ireland is open for business.”

Why no get on the ground now? instead of “when the time is right” – COVID could continue well into March 2021, depending on many factors…not least the Winter and any prolonged cold period after…have they never considered that forty odd million could support upwards of 2,000 strategic tourism professionals….and we don’t mean those working in PR and Marketing.

Maybe they could use that money to train and upskill tourism workers so that they can market their businesses internationally, instead of seeing vast amounts of money pumped into advertising agencies….

We don’t mean put them through silly marketing certificates or sit them in a group to listen to some marketing guru (Code for Knob) …..We mean teach them and help them to tell their stories, teach them how to make their own unique stories and videos…. Tourism Ireland should promote and engage in “Authentic Home-Grown Marketing” (Copyright) – Imagine forty odd million spent on 2,000 new paid story tellers, we think it is much better value and it will provide them ‘Characters’ with support for when the good times return.

Oh, and just so the support does not go to the rich and wealthy tourism providers…. Make them match fund if have plenty of assets or historical cashflow (Too many companies are crying poverty, whilst sitting on millions of assets – That is another article)… and for those that don’t have the big bucks….give it to their unique characters.

Anyway, we don’t imagine they will read this….but some of you might, and if you work in Tourism and are struggling, reach out to Tourism Ireland….and your banks, and tell them that you also need to protect the characters and tourism professionals that actually make the product and brand strong here.

Image credit Irish Times and


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