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Brian Harte and Mark Henry from Tourism Ireland Tourism Ireland
Social Media

They 'Like' us: Irish tourism sites have over half-a-million Facebook fans

Tourism Ireland believes its social media presence is crucial in attracting holidaymakers to Ireland.

TOURISM IRELAND’S FACEBOOK pages have over 500,000 fans making it the third most popular tourist destination on the social networking site, according to the organisation.

With 16 different Facebook pages for various countries plus the ‘Titanic Stories’ Facebook page adding up to over 500,000 fans, the country’s main tourism board says that it is behind only Australia and the UK in terms of popularity on the site.

Tourism Ireland’s fanbase has grown sixfold over the past year having had just 81,000 fans on its various pages this time last year. The US version has the biggest fanbase with almost 163,000 fans.

Australia’s tourism page has 1.8 millions fans whilst the UK’s has 504,000 but they do not operate localised pages like Tourism Ireland.

The organisation says the increase in fans is a result of a number of social media initiatives including a Farmville-style game called ‘Ireland Town’ which has had 213,000 players to date.

A ‘Happy Holidays’ campaign in the US last December generated 40,000 new fans on Facebook for Tourism Ireland which further boosted its number of ‘Likes’ through crowd sourcing initiatives.

With one in two people who visit Ireland saying personal recommendations influenced their choice, the organisation believes that the increasing amount of online interaction is crucial to developing the country’s tourism industry.

“When you consider that each of our fans has in turn an average of 130 friends, this fanbase for Ireland means that we can potentially engage with 65 million people worldwide each day,” Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s central marketing director said.

Read: Increase in overseas visitors welcomed with cautious optimism >

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