Fáilte Ireland has launched a ‘mobile friendly’ website (www.irelandsancienteast.com) to showcase Ireland’s Ancient East and support its domestic marketing campaign, based on 5,000 years of Irish history on the east and south regions. Visitors to the website can experience stories and uncover hidden gems through 400 pieces of content.
Glendalough, Co Wickow, founded in the 6th Century by St Kevin and Sea Stallion of Glendalough, a replica viking ship launched in 2004 and visited Dublin in 2007. Photos Gillian Mills
The website builds on Fáilte Ireland investment and work in the region, including €2.3m in capital investment allocated to 25 projects under the New Ideas in Ancient Spaces initiative.
Four projects will soon open to the public (Hook Lighthouse; the Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park, Kildare; Athlone Castle; and the Titanic Experience in Cobh) with the remaining projects coming on stream later this year. A further investment of €18m in the Ireland’s Ancient East brand is scheduled across 2016.
Speaking about the brand’s importance, Fáilte Ireland chairman, Michael Cawley, said the south and east regions presented a particular type of tourism challenge: increasing the duration visitors stay locally, and transforming the region from a ‘transit zone’ to a ‘touring zone’.
“The ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ brand will allow us to market and leverage the unique depth and diversity of the region’s heritage assets. Storytelling is vital in making the connection with our visitors – whether through technology, marketing or more compelling narratives – we need to substantially develop this storytelling capability around attractions in the region.”
Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Ireland’s Ancient East, Jenny De Saulles, said she had been “particularly impressed” by the enthusiasm and cooperation from local tourism businesses, authorities and agencies such as the OPW.
“Everyone involved understands the potential for this brand to deliver on its promise and is stepping up to make that happen. Fáilte Ireland will continue its focus on upskilling industry members and working with them to develop compelling experiences that will excite overseas visitors and increase the appeal of the region,” she said.
The marketing campaign involves promotion across print, broadcast and digital media and includes a dedicated sixty-second TV commercial – to be unveiled in June.