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How McIlroy's US Open success can boost tourism industry

Tourism Ireland is rolling out a major new campaign aimed at capitalising on the success of the Northern Irishman last month.

McIlroy at his homecoming in County Down last month.
McIlroy at his homecoming in County Down last month.
Image: Stephen Wilson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

RORY MCILROY’S HISTORIC US Open triumph is set to boost tourism to this country with Tourism Ireland today rolling out a new €2.2 million campaign aimed at capitalising on the Co Down man’s success.

Capitalising on the huge international media interest in McIlroy’s victory at Congressional last month, Tourism Ireland is looking to boost the number of people who visit Ireland on golf holidays.

Presently, Ireland welcomes about 150,000 golfers from overseas each year, worth an estimated €110 million to the economy.

The success of McIlroy in the US and Graeme McDowell’s victory at the same tournament last year are being used as “hooks” to draw more visitors.

According to data from O’Leary Analytics around 34,000 articles appeared in more than 100 countries in the nine days after the US Open.  Some 18,000 articles appeared in the US alone, reaching millions of Americans.

Speaking today, chief executive of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons said:

Golf is the world’s largest sports-related travel market and Tourism Ireland is working hard to drive home the message that a golfing holiday in Ireland is about much more than a round of 18 holes – the combination of Ireland’s world-class golf product and our unique brand of hospitality plays a key role in attracting golfers to come here.  Rory is a superb ambassador for the game and for the island of Ireland.

Tourism Ireland will run an ad campaign in British media over the summer aimed at selling the ‘Home of Champions’ to potential tourists while ads are also appearing in the Golfweek and Golf Word magazines in the US as well as Irish-American publications the Irish Voice and Irish Echo.

Further campaigns are being run at the Ladies golf tournament, the Solheim Cup which is being held at Killeen Castle in Co Meath in September and in Germany and Sweden where there are about 650,000 registered golfers.

Read: McIlroy’s star rises – transcending questions of religion and politics >

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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