Belfast Telegraph

US TV campaign to promote Northern Ireland golf breaks

By Ryan McAleer

A new television campaign will be launched in the United States this week to promote Northern Ireland as a destination for North American golfers ahead of next year's Open.

With millions of people tuning in to watch this year's competition, which tees off at Carnoustie in Scotland this morning, Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI are seeking to raise awareness of Royal Portrush.

The north coast course will host the 148th Open next July, 68 years after it last welcomed the world famous tournament.

Now one of the world's biggest sporting events, it's expected to bring an economic windfall of around £70m.

Tourism bodies are already harnessing the marketing potential with a new 30-second ad, which is airing on the hugely popular NBC Golf Channel this week.

With the potential to reach millions of household in the US, the ad features scenery from the Royal Portrush, Portstewart and Royal County Down courses.

An email marketing campaign is also being launched for the Golf Channel's 560,000 subscribers over the coming weeks.

In addition, two episodes of Ginella's Journeys focusing on Northern Ireland, will re-air during the week after The Open.

Ginella's Journey is a segment on the Golf Channel's Morning Drive, one of the network's most popular shows.

Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.

Its chief executive, Niall Gibbons, said promoting golf holidays here and around the island of Ireland, is a major focus for the body in the United States.

"Our message is that Northern Ireland offers American golfers the complete package - with some of the very best links golf in the world, stunning scenery and the warmest of welcomes," he said.

"The US is an extremely important market for Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2018 to continue to build awareness of Northern Ireland as a premier vacation destination.

"Our aim is to build on the success of 2017 when we welcomed around 257,000 North American visitors to Northern Ireland."

Meanwhile Tourism NI said its promotion of the 148th Open at Royal Portrush will include a strong advertising campaign to attract visitors to the event and to enjoy a short break.

A spokeswoman said branding is already in place at Belfast International Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport.

Belfast Telegraph

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