Social media influencers paid nearly €300,000 to promote Irish tourism

Jan 04, 2023
Social media influencers paid nearly €300,000 to promote Irish tourism

Fáilte Ireland spent nearly €300,000 paying social-media influencers to promote various destinations around Ireland over the past two years.

The tourism authority forked out fees ranging from €15,000 to €800 to 46 well-known ­personalities between August 5, 2020, and December 9, 2022.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act reveal that a number of TV presenters, sports personalities and influencers were involved in several social-media campaigns for Fáilte Ireland.

Among those hired for social media work were Rozanna Purcell, Anna Geary, Greg O’Shea, Baz Ashmawy, Tadhg Fleming, Keith Walsh and Aoibhín Garrihy.

This was to promote a number of marketing initiatives going back to 2020 including “Make a Break for it”, “Keep Discovering” and “Come Here to Me, Dublin”.

In return for the agreed fee, influencers had to publish stories and static posts to promote different destinations.

Many of the campaigns were run during the Covid lockdowns in a bid to market Irish destinations amid a raft of travel restrictions – sparking a surge in domestic tourism.

One of its most popular influencers was former Miss Universe Ireland and travel blogger Roz Purcell, who has 540,000 followers on Instagram alone.

As part of its “Keep Discovering” campaign, she was paid €11,775 during a July 19-23, 2021 trip.

She shared images and content taken during a visit to Mayo and Sligo as part of the Wild Atlantic Way.

The following month, Purcell visited Westmeath and Offaly from August 25-27 to promote Ireland’s “Hidden Heartlands”, which paid just over €12,000.

Purcell, who runs The Hike Life, became campaign
ambassador for Fáilte Ireland’s ‘Keep Discovering’ initiative in 2022, which earned her €60,000 between four different visits.

She picked up a €15,000 fee for a May 26-28 trip to Cork as part of Ireland’s ‘Ancient East’.

A trip to Lough Derg from July 25-27 earned her another €15,000 fee and in September, a three-day trip to Mayo’s wild Atlantic way paid €15,000.

A trip around Dublin from October 26-28 got her another €15,000. All of her posts were clearly marked as ads.

RTÉ presenter and former All-Ireland-winning Cork camogie captain Anna Geary picked up a fee of €4,670 for a two-day visit to Kilkenny in July 2020.

And Love Island star Greg O’Shea received €11,635 for a two-day visit in September 2021 to promote Ireland’s Ancient East.

The Virgin Media presenter has more than 900,000 followers on Instagram.

Fáilte Ireland also spent €12,250 on fees to three different influencers to help promote the Aer Lingus College Football Classic, which took place in Dublin on August 27.

On its use of influencers to promote various destinations, a spokesman said it developed campaigns across all marketing channels to engage and encourage the Irish public to take domestic breaks.

“As part of this activity, our social-media influencer and content-creator strategy is highly successful to engage with targeted audience demographics on specific interest topics, resulting in a measurable propensity to travel and take breaks in Ireland,” he said.

Source: independent