A $76 million marketing budget will back the (until recently implausible) proposition that Ireland is a “green, safe and welcoming vacation destination”. Few would dispute the island’s verdancy – nor its hospitality – but until now “safe” would not have been in most tourists’ lexicon.

The advertising and marketing drive is the brainchild of a new joint body, Tourism Ireland, and symbolizes the growing cooperation between the Irish Republic and neighboring Northern Ireland, still a province of the United Kingdom.

Says the Republic’s tourism minister Seamus McDaid: “This is a giant step for the tourism industry in Ireland, and one which is designed to raise the tourist profile of Ireland abroad.”

The campaign, created by McCann-Erickson Worldwide’s London office, is based on the theme ‘Memories, not souvenirs’ and promotes the all-Irish experience. Targeting key markets such as the US, mainland Europe and Asia, the initial $26.6m campaign excludes Britain where the disparate tourist boards of the two nations will mount separate drives.

Tourism Ireland is one of the many fruits the of the 1999 ‘Good Friday’ agreement, an international treaty between the UK and Ireland which created a framework for cross-border cooperation between the two countries.

News source: AdAge Global