Ireland 5th most popular destination worldwide on Facebook

3 Mar 2011

Ireland is now the fifth most popular tourism destination in the world on Facebook, with a fanbase of a quarter of a million people around the globe – and counting, Tourism Ireland has announced.

Tourism Ireland, the organisation responsible for promoting Ireland overseas, is using social media to inspire potential holidaymakers to come and visit the country.

The organisation has grown its fanbase from nothing at the beginning of 2010 to 250,000 this week, making Ireland the fifth most popular country in the world. The Facebook ‘multiplier effect’ means that the organisation is also seeing growth of about 2,500 fans per day.

Tourism Ireland now has fans in 14 countries around the globe, including Great Britain, the US, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, India, Japan, New Zealand and the Gulf countries.

“Whenever we ask people what most influences their choice of holiday destination, word of mouth is always the No 1 factor. Social media now allows word of mouth about a holiday destination to reach a truly global audience. For that reason, Tourism Ireland aims to get people talking about their positive experiences of our island and the many great things to see and do here,” said Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s central marketing director.

Tourism Ireland encourages fans and travellers to upload and share their experiences and favourite photos of Ireland; other fans then comment and recommend great places to visit and things to see and do. The organisation responds to messages posted about Ireland, providing suggestions, offers from tourism partners, links and advice to potential visitors.

Country Facebook fans:
1. Australia: 1,400,000
2. New Zealand: 310,000
3. Spain: 280,000
4. Croatia: 260,000
5. Ireland: 250,000

“Having a fanbase of this size allows Tourism Ireland to communicate over 3.5m messages about the island of Ireland each month to prospective visitors,” Henry added. “When you consider that each of our fans has in turn an average of 130 friends, we can potentially engage with 32.5m people worldwide today.”