Irish tourist board retains all-Ireland marketing strategy

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DUBLIN -- Bord Failte, the Republic of Ireland's tourist board, remains committed to brand marketing on an all-Ireland basis despite this month's rioting across the border in Northern Ireland, says Noel Toolan, Bord Failte's international marketing manager.

Most consumers see Ireland, both Northern Ireland and the Republic, as a single market, Toolan says. There has not been a significant number of cancellations from vacationers in the U.K., mainland Europe and the U.S., he adds.

Toolan says that renewed street unrest, including rioting in Portadown, Derry (also known as Londonderry) and Belfast and a bomb which destroyed one of Northern Ireland's best hotels in Enniskillen, made no impact on the number of calls made to Bord Failte offices in the U.S.

The joint Overseas Tourism Marketing Initiative, whose advertising is handled by J. Walter Thompson London, markets the island of Ireland as a single tourist destination. This year's OTMI ad campaign was suspended after February's IRA bomb in the Canary Wharf office block district of London. But the campaign was re-started after several weeks and has now run its course.

A new Bord Failte branding campaign, called Destination Ireland, is handled by Peter Owens- DDB Needham Dublin.

Copyright July 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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