Even in tourism it’s about location, location, location

Phil Spencer swaps househunting for tourist-hunting in autumn push on British market

Could the sight of television presenter Phil Spencer wandering around Dublin last month be more evidence that the property market has gone bananas again. Well it could be – but it's not.

Spencer is a British househunting expert who, with no-nonsense plummy Kirsty Allsopp, presents Location, Location, Location and many other Channel 4 property-related series.

The soft spoken smoothie – he sounds just posh enough, but not terrifying – was brought over as part Tourism Ireland's autumn campaign to make four online programmes. They feature various holiday-friendly locations, including Dublin, the Wild Atlantic Way and Northern Ireland. The fourth film is a "rest of Ireland" one.

The online programmes will be broadcast over four weeks on the UK’s Classic FM radio station website.


According to Tourism Ireland, the promotion will reach 6.5 million people across the UK, which, if it happens and these click-throughs are measurable, will be a solid delivery of a targeted audience.

As part of the deal Spencer will also tweet of the joys of Ireland as an autumn holiday location to his 133,000 followers.

The tourism body has isolated two sectors which it wants to target in its €11million autumn push to encourage late holidaymakers: “social energisers” and “culturally curious”.

Spencer is considered to appeal to the latter category, who are likely to listen to the classical music station and be interested in finding out about historical and cultural destinations. It's Trinity Collage and Dublin Castle – not semi d's and fixer uppers.

Britain is the largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland, with an 11.3 per cent increase in visitors from January to July of this year, an extra 178,200 British visitors compared with the same seven-month period in 2013.

As well as targeting UK visitors, the autumn campaign includes sponsorship of iFest, a new Irish culture festival in Boston.

The spend is also supporting an Australian production company filming two popular TV shows and a French TV crew making a Game of Thrones-themed programme.