New tourism website launched


A new Tourism Ireland website built to attract overseas visitors to the island of Ireland was not designed here, it has emerged.

Described by Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar as “crucial in promoting The Gathering 2013”, the contract to design the new site was given to a UK agency.

Costing €3 million to develop, including the €500,000 purchase of the domain name from the Irish Times, the site launched in early January.

Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons said the site's developer was chosen after a “full open EU tender” in which London-based agency Hugo & Cat offered “the best combination of capability and value”.

The agency, which has done campaigns for Sony and Nokia, had also been engaged by Failte Ireland to create a film showcasing Dublin as a Unesco City of Literature.

Tourism Ireland says, which features 1,700 images of Ireland and is being rolled out to 30 markets in 11 languages including Chinese and Russian, targets the 70 per cent of people who now research and book their holidays online.