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Market Performance 

Our third largest source market, Germany remains on track to deliver more than three quarters of a million visitors to the island of Ireland this year, of which more than 500,000 will be valuable holidaymakers. Following  a year of spectacular growth in 2018, and based on arrivals up to September, visitor numbers from Germany will be broadly in line with last year’s numbers. 

Direct Air Access 

Ireland enjoys very good air connectivity with Germany, with more than 30,000 one-way seats in the summer, and around 26,000 during the winter. Five airlines operate from nine major German airports to five island of Ireland airports, delivering good year-round connectivity.  Given the decentralised federal nature of the German state, having connectivity from the largest possible number of key cities is important. Direct connectivity to several of our regional airports, namely Kerry, Knock and Shannon sees our German visitors having the option of arriving directly onto the Wild Atlantic Way as well as Dublin and Belfast.   

Why should you target this market? 

Germany is the world’s second largest outbound tourism market, with German residents making up more than 100m out-of-state trips every year, mainly within Europe. Despite the recent weakening of the German economy, outbound tourism is still expected to continue to grow in low single digits to around 103m trips in 2020. There are a lot of German holidaymakers seeking new experiences every year.  Germany is the third largest inbound tourism market to the island of Ireland, spending €420m while here. German holidaymakers account for around 10% of all holidaymakers to the island of Ireland and is the largest source market from continental Europe. There are many German holidaymakers on the island of Ireland at any time, seeking authentic encounters with the island of Ireland and its people. Visitors from Germany spend €625 per person while here, staying nine nights on average. Favouring hostels and B&Bs as well as hotels, Germans account for more than six million paid bed-nights in Ireland every year and will travel around the island, particularly the south West and the West, as well as Dublin.  

The German visitor to Ireland has proved both resilient in times of tourism downturns and tend to recover quickly in the economic upswing.  Visitors from Germany will continue to come here in good times and in bad. Nearly one in three of these German holidaymakers are return visitors and around half are under 35 years old. Exploring our history and culture along with walking and hiking, are the most popular activities for our German visitors, who are comfortable speaking and being addressed in English. 

How to work with this market 

Tourism Ireland in Frankfurt offers the full range of industry opportunities to any industry partners who wish to access the German market. Our Business Development Team can put you in front of key German buyers and our Publicity Team can ensure that key German media know what you have to offer the German holidaymaker. The very experienced and well-resourced Consumer Marketing Team in Frankfurt is ‘always on’ with activity across multiple media channels across the year, showcasing Ireland in a way which touches the passion-points of German holiday-makers encouraging them to choose Ireland over competing destinations. 

Upcoming Activity 

Tourism Ireland’s German team has a full programme of activity already planned for 2020, aimed at the travel trade and consumer alike.  

Our marketing programme begins very early in January with the important CMT Fair which runs for a week in Stuttgart. This is Germany’s largest consumer holiday fair, attracting over 260,000 visitors and the Tourism Ireland stand allows us to showcase key island of Ireland suppliers, North and South. 

Our ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’ brand campaign which will commence around Christmas will then continue into January. Later in the year this will be supported by digital and social media, including Facebook, Instagram and email marketing. More than 12m potential holidaymakers will see these campaigns. 

A major dedicated Wild Atlantic Way brand awareness campaign will air around Easter, featuring addressable TV, outdoor, online videos and paid content seeding.  

St. Patrick’s Day will see us deliver significant local media coverage on the back of the ‘Global Greening’ campaign, supported also by a major sales push.   

At Germany’s largest trade fair, ITB Berlin, Tourism Ireland will host more than 30 industry suppliers over five days of meetings with key tour operators. 

Later in the Spring, the German travel trade will attend both Meitheal and the Meet The Buyer workshops in Ireland North and South. 

During the Spring and Autumn, we will undertake a wide range of co-operative marketing campaigns with German and island of Ireland partners including tour operators, airports and other regional stakeholders.  

In addition to our paid advertising activity and our presence at shows and fairs, Tourism Ireland aims to bring up to 150 German journalists (print, online, broadcast and social media) to the island of Ireland next year. The publicity arising from these visits generates coverage across all media with an equivalent advertising value of around €60m annually.  

Building on past successes with brands such as Kerrygold, Panasonic and Diageo, we will be identifying and working with new partners from outside the travel trade again in 2020. For this and all other aspects of our marketing programme, we welcome and value your observations. 

Click here to view our complete market profile for Germany and here to see our recent market review. 

Market contact: Peter Nash