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  • Tourism businesses to search for growth with ‘Google Month’ initiative

    Tourism businesses to search for growth with ‘Google Month’ initiative
    Michael Brady, Fáilte Ireland Digital, is pictured with the Google Team, Dublin

    Fáilte Ireland and Google partner to provide innovative web programme

    Fáilte Ireland and Google are to partner together over the next four weeks to present ‘Google Month’, a new initiative to demonstrate to Irish tourism businesses the power and advantages of being online.

    Google Month – Google for Irish Tourism will involve a series of online events (termed ‘Hangouts’) presented from Google HQ in Dublin demonstrating how Irish tourism businesses can maximise their online presence and grow their business. These Hangouts will be broadcast live on FailteIrelandTV, the Fáilte Ireland YouTube Channel and will be free of charge. The online briefings will be aimed specifically at tourism businesses that may be new players in the digital arena or in the early stages of developing a digital strategy.

    Reflecting the importance of digital marketing for tourism, over 700 tourism businesses have already signed up to participate.  The ‘Hangouts’ will take place at 10.00am over the next five Mondays with the first, an introductory session, taking place tomorrow (22 September). Topics to be covered will include:

    • How to optimize your online web presence with Google Search;
    • Making the most of search advertising and Adwords campaigning;
    • Applying tools such as Google Analytics to understand who visits your website and what content they look at;
    • The advantages of getting your business on YouTube.

    Welcoming the initiative, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, said:

    “Clearly this innovative partnership between Google and Fáilte Ireland is to be welcomed given the growing influence of digital marketing in tourism. The internet has redefined the way we travel, where we go and what we plan to do when we arrive. If a tourism business is not online, it’s not maximising its full potential. In this respect, all Irish tourism businesses need to take full advantage of an online presence and keep ahead of the curve as we compete in a modern and increasingly competitive international marketplace.”   

    With Fáilte Ireland research showing that the internet influenced six out of ten overseas travellers to choose Ireland and was the main source for seven out of ten travellers when planning their stay here, the need for tourism businesses to keep up to date on all the latest trend is imperative. Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Digital, Orla Carroll today stressed:

    “For the 21st Century traveller, ‘word of mouse’ is increasingly replacing word of mouth as their primary source of holiday information. We’re very excited to partner with Google to bring the latest cutting edge insights to tourism businesses around the country. Ultimately, the internet provides many businesses with the means to work smarter as they seek to target growth and, over the next few weeks, we hope to share some of the online tricks of the trade which will help them to do just that”.

    Speaking on behalf of Google, John Puts, Product Quality Analyst with Google said:

    "It is very exciting to work on this initiative together with Failte Ireland. There is plenty of information online about the great benefit our products could have for businesses, but the problem is that often businesses do not know how to find it or are not even aware of it. By driving and largely promoting an initiative like this we are able to create awareness of our products and ensure they will help many businesses to benefit from them.

    “Because simply having a website is not enough anymore, we hope to contribute to a greater and more user friendly online presence of businesses in the Irish tourism industry by offering them content on a broad range of our products that will help them to reach their customers more effectively. We recommend all webmasters to join us during the Google Month!"

    You can learn more about Google Month and the content of the various Hangouts here

    Follow us on Twitter @Failte_Ireland  #Google4IrishTourism


    For further information please contact:

    Alex Connolly
    Head of Communications - 086 7966320 / 01 8847884

    Louise Tolerton - Press Officer
    086 6086578 / 01 8847135


    On Tech and Tourism: Some Quick Facts

    • The use of smartphones is growing rapidly at 15% per annum globally according to eMarketer, who also estimate that 1.75 billion people around the globe will have a smartphone in 2014.

    • In Ireland, a report for UPC estimates that 86% of households have a laptop, 75% have a smartphone, 54% have a tablet, 50% have a pc and 18% have a smart TV.

    • The same report estimates that online sales accounts for 7% of consumer spending or €5.9bn. By 2020 they estimate that it will account for 12.5% of consumer spending or €12.7bn.

    • According to the EU’s Eurobarometer Survey, 46% of EU adults considered the internet to be an important information source when making a decision on their travel plans, however 56% claimed that friends’/relatives’ recommendations were important.

    • In the same survey 58% of consumers claimed to have arranged their holiday via the internet.

    • Fáilte Ireland’s own survey of overseas visitors (the Visitor Attitudes Survey) found higher rates of internet usage with 73% of visitors using it for holiday planning and 66% using it to actually book the holiday. The difference may be explained by the greater tendency of visitors to Ireland to be independent travellers.

    • According to research by the credit card company Visa, an estimated 65% of global consumers brought a smartphone with them on holiday, while laptops (32%) and tablets (26%) were also popular accessories on holidays.

    • On their return, Visa’s research found that more than a third of European consumers posted holiday pictures online, this however rises to 79% for consumers from Asia.

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