Market Performance

The Italian market delivered est. 370K visitors to the island of Ireland in 2019 (364K to RI and 20K to NI) Following years of double-digit growth from Italy we are optimistic about 2022 visitor numbers.  Direct air access from Italy also works in Ireland’s favour and gives us reason to be optimistic about potential growth. Italians were among the first Europeans to begin travelling again and our culturally curious Italian visitors put Ireland close to the top of their consideration set. They seek nature, wide open spaces and landscapes, which the island of Ireland can offer in abundance, together with natural social distancing. Repeat visitors and Italians visiting friends and relatives are likely to represent good target opportunities as they indicate a preference for visiting places that are familiar to them. 

During 2021 our focus was mainly on engaging with Italian travel trade and media. We kept Ireland top of mind via our wide-ranging #FillYourHeartWithIreland social media campaign. Through this campaign, we shared inspirational content about the island of Ireland with Italian fans and followers on social media, including 340K Facebook fans, 11K Twitter followers and 108K Instagram followers. In August, we launched our hugely successful Green Button campaign in Italy. 


Why should you target this market?

The culturally curious Italian visitors have put Ireland close to the top of their consideration set for international travel. Italian visitors are more likely to be holiday makers, to stay longer and to spend more than visitors from many other markets. In 2019, Italian visitors contributed est. €178M to the economy across the island of Ireland, and they stayed an average of 9 nights. Well over half (61%) of all our Italian visitors came to Ireland for a holiday. Often late bookers, Italians value quality and are prepared to spend well where they see value for their money. While keen to see as much of the island of Ireland as possible, some Italians are reluctant to hire a car. For this reason, it is important to include information on public transport options to make it easy for them to reach your location.

How to work with this market

Please contact us to engage with our current activity (more details below) and keep Ireland top of mind with Italian visitors.  

Repeat visitors and Italians visiting friends and relatives are likely to represent good target opportunities as they indicate a preference for visiting places that are familiar to them. A recent review of the Italian market by Tourism Ireland confirms the Italian Culturally Curious as the segment which offers the most potential for the island of Ireland. These holidaymakers are motivated by Ireland’s stunning scenery and by our authentic culture. Getting to meet local people and understand their lifestyle is a key part of the holiday for these Italian visitors. Good quality local food is an important theme which we use to engage Italians, alongside experiences of local culture, images of iconic landscapes and the authenticity of our live music tradition.

Ireland has a strong profile in the Italian market, we’re in the top 5 on the wish list of places Italians most want to visit. Our press office works hard to secure excellent exposure for the island of Ireland as a holiday destination across Italian print, TV, radio and digital media (in 2021 this coverage was worth over €26M in equivalent advertising value). We have a large digital footprint with visits to the Italian version of alongside our social community numbers over 450k fans and followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and we work increasingly with key influencers in the market to help us reach new audiences. 

Marketing Activity

Why not contact us to get involved and get in touch with Italian consumers via our 2022 marketing campaigns? Check out our latest marketing opportunities, such as social media posts or personalised Instagram Stories designed by digital experts. Some key activities directly targeting Italian consumers include consumer e-zines, social media campaigns and extensive press office activity. We also have several B2B opportunities targeting tour operators and travel agents such as webinars and e-zines if you are keen to reach a trade audience.    

In the coming months our focus will be on recovery and sales facilitation, and we will post details of the activities you can participate in, such as on-line events, networking opportunities and trade and media familiarisation trips. Please register your interest in the Italian market to receive alerts, as we will be creating new opportunities throughout 2022. If you have any questions, or would like some tips on the Italian market, just drop us a line or give us a call, we will be happy to help and we look forward to working with you to deliver business from Italy in 2022 and beyond. 

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Market contact: Mary O'Connor