Tourism is hugely important to Northern Ireland (NI) – worth £760m a year, supporting 58,000 jobs and contributing 5% of GDP. So, the fall off in numbers and spend from visitors from the Republic of Ireland – our nearest market, was deeply troubling. Visitor numbers to Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland had declined significantly year on year– with 18% fewer trips taken and spend levels down 16% (2015 vs 2016). Genesis were tasked to create marketing communications to help turn this situation around through the development of an Autumn campaign.
We created an integrated campaign which was inspired by deep and relevant insight into our target market. Following extensive research, we identified a number of key barriers inhibiting people from the ROI from considering Northern Ireland for a short break. We used these insights to develop a campaign which led to a new communications proposition: ‘The promise of more’. This elegantly captured a series of compelling truths about Northern Ireland; that when you come here on a short break, there are more unique things to experience, more world-class attractions and there is more value for money. We dramatized the thinking through developing the ‘Say Hello to More’ campaign platform, which was expressed innovatively across multiple traditional and digital channels. The campaign was designed to inspire visitors in a way that drove conversion through a bespoke website.
The “Say Hello to More” campaign has prompted a large and immediate upsurge in visitors numbers from the Republic of Ireland, helping to attract +135% more visitors year on year (against the same period). Average spend levels per visit have also increased significantly (+86% compared to previous year for the same period). 73% of ROI people said the campaign would make them more likely to take a short break in NI. The campaign has also delivered a record return on investment ratio for Tourism NI.