France is consistently one the most important overseas market for the island of Ireland. #4 in terms of overseas visitors est. 550K for 2019.
Current Tourism Ireland research suggests that the French will be among the first Europeans to travel, and further that the island of Ireland features on the list of destinations that where French consumers would feel most comfortable holidaying when overseas holiday travel begins again. French trade sources have also reported high rebooking rates for island of Ireland travel to 2021 under the French voucher scheme, all of which augurs well for the restart phase.
In addition to the above, the French holiday-maker has always been a very loyal customer – with a 40% level of repeat visits. French holidaymakers tend to stay longer than others - averaging 7 nights and have been a significant source of seasonal visitors to the island of Ireland with 34% of French holidaymakers traveling between April and June, and through the month of September. The French holidaymaker is also particularly important to regional tourism on the island of Ireland – with over two-thirds of French holidaymakers spending at least one night outside Dublin often traveling via car (53%).
2020 began with a very intensive programme of in-market B2B activity in important regional markets such as Rennes, Strasbourg and Bordeaux. Since March, the TI France B2B team engaged in extensive digital outreach and engagement with our trade partners. We ran a series of thematic and regionally focused webinars between April and July alongside weekly digital updates. Another wave of webinars has just finished in collaboration with Failte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland focusing on hygiene rules and the future visitor experience across the spectrum of accommodation options on the island of Ireland. Our monthly Trade e-zine targets over 2,100 readers and we will also continue to engage, educate and inspire French travel trade through winter 2020/2021.
On the B2C side, currently, our focus is on engaging with French media, on digital platforms. We are keeping Ireland top of mind with our French consumers via our wide-ranging #FillYourHeartWithIreland social media campaign. Through this campaign, inspirational content about the island of Ireland is shared on social media with 235,000 Facebook fans, 35,000 Twitter followers and 45,000 Instagram followers. Our PR/communication team has also worked closely with French media outlets and television focusing on promoting inspiring stories and content featuring the island of Ireland throughout spring/summer 2020.
TI France will participate the Virtual Travel Show in November, and a further series of webinars is planned for Q1 2021. All opportunities will be posted on this site so please check regularly or contact anyone of our market team who will be very pleased to showcase your product or advise you on your future engagement in the French market.
We look forward to working with you throughout this period and to bringing back French holidaymakers to the island of Ireland as soon as travel resumes.
to view our market profile.
Market Contact: Fiona Dunne