Tuesday, 21 May 1996
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. O'Sullivan: The first phase of the consideration of a brand image for Irish tourism was completed in the spring of 1995 with a presentation of initial consultancy findings to the Tourism Council. A partnership forum was organised by Bord Fáilte on 24 October 1995 to give leading figures in the tourism industry an opportunity to hear the results of research carried out in the interim on international consumer perspectives of Ireland and to debate further steps in the development of the brand image. It was agreed that Bord Fáilte would continue, under the aegis of an advisory group led by Bord Fáilte's international marketing director, to develop brand positioning proposals and a communications strategy.
In recent months Bord Fáilte has sought approaches from suitable advertising practitioners who would be capable of carrying out the strategic and creative development of a new branded advertising approach. Advertising agencies have now been short-listed and will be making their final presentations at the end of May. I also understand that initial assessments are currently in hand to select a design agency. Bord Fáilte envisages that the new creative and design work will be completed during the summer and that the brand will be ready for launching in our international markets at the end of this year.
Mr. Andrews: Will the Minister of State indicate if the agencies to which he referred are Irish based or under EU law is it the intention to develop a tourism brand through agencies in other European countries?
Mr. O'Sullivan: Deputy Andrews was in the Shelbourne Hotel and attended the discussion on the brand. The people involved in the tourism industry were in no doubt as to the likely benefits of having a proper brand. The Bord Fáilte marketing director has set about putting this in place and we will have to await the outcome.
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