Tourism Ireland has scooped the top prize for ‘Best Tourist Board Website’ at the French hospitality industry’s ‘Les Travel D’Or’ awards, for the second year running. Beating off stiff competition from 43 other competitor websites, the Tourism Ireland site, www.discoverireland.com/fr, was voted number one for its winning appeal and content by an impressive 77,661 internet users from around France – almost double the number of last year’s voters – and a panel of web and travel industry experts.
France is the fourth largest tourist market for the island of Ireland, delivering over 400,000 visitors last year. Following an extensive review of the French market last year, Tourism Ireland has put an ambitious plan in place to increase the number of French holidaymakers by +40% over four years.
Every day, more than 6 million internet users (6,178,000) in France visit at least one tourism or travel related website*, which represents a +9% increase on 2010, highlighting the importance for Tourism Ireland of having a strong online presence in this market.
Speaking about the win, Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted that our discoverireland.com website has picked up this prestigious award for the second year running and I congratulate my colleagues in our French office. France is Ireland’s fourth largest market and we have ambitious targets to grow French visitor numbers in 2012 and beyond. Our strategy is to create a sense of urgency, to inspire French holidaymakers to ‘visit now’ – so the online space is an essential one for us, given the role that the internet plays in peoples’ research, planning and booking of holidays.
“Winning this award two years in a row highlights that we are up there with the best and I am confident that our strong online presence will continue to motivate more French people to choose Ireland as a holiday destination. Tourism Ireland has always strived to be at the cutting edge of emarketing and we are continually enhancing our website to enhance our online communications with potential visitors and to increase our effectiveness in marketing Ireland.”
‘Les Travel D’Or’ awards are the French tourism industry’s version of the Oscars. The Tourism Ireland site fought off keen competition in this category from other destinations’ websites, including Spain and Scotland.
Discoverireland.com features information mined from a database of approximately 30,000 tourism products around the island of Ireland – including accommodation, festivals, attractions and events. Information is updated on a daily basis, ensuring it is an extremely dynamic and comprehensive source of information for overseas tourists. Links to social media sites, blogs, e-brochures and video pages are increasingly popular, demonstrating peoples’ increasing appetite for more interactive content.
Tourism Ireland’s websites are designed to ensure that potential and repeat customers receive world-class information and can be easily directed to online and other purchasing opportunities for holidays, packages and access transport.