I heard several ads today on 2RN (or Radio Athlone, as the young folk say) for, er, “fun” on the Shannon and the Erne. Folk were encouraged to visit a Discover Ireland website, which I think is run by one of the bits of what used to be Bord Fáilte.
The site in question might be this one, where the Lough Derg offers include a hotel in Thurles, which is miles away from Lough Derg. The insistence on “fun” and “family adventure” suggests that that site is aimed at the members of the moronic community, and it is difficult to find any information apart from the prepackaged “family breaks”. And I’m not sure that the slogan “Discover Fermanagh: Where the days seem longer …” is a winner: why travel to Fermanagh to be bored when you could do it at home?
But what is most interesting is the sudden increase in the amount of advertising on the wireless; I don’t yet know whether it is matched by an increase in that on other media. I assume that tourism folk don’t spend money unless they are short of visitors. So have the numbers of overseas, foreign and domestic holiday-makers been disappointing so far this year? I don’t know, and the Tourism Barometer for April 2012 [PDF] suggested that service providers were optimistic at least at that stage.
I am aware that Waterways Ireland, which contributes to the lakelands marketing effort, has pulled advertising from some media; is it diverting its spending in an effort to boost tourism, or is that simply a change of policy consequent on a change of management? I would welcome information.
I would also welcome a proper analysis of the success of WI’s Lakelands and Inland Waterways marketign initiative.