NEW CAR REGISTRATIONS FOR JANUARY DOWN IN COUNTY DUBLIN
·181 January car sales drop by 4.22% in Dublin ·Nationally sales dip by 4.8% ·2018 forecast of new car sales 118,220 -10%, used import market 114,950 +20% ·New car registrations 2017, totalled 131,355 -10.4% on 2016· €1.49 Billion Exchequer contribution from car sales 2017 -1.5% on 2016 ·Cost of Motoring: Average price of a new car down 2%, Petrol prices up 4.2%, ·Diesel prices up 3.6% on December 2016, Insurance Costs December 2017 10.9% lower than December 2016. Average motor insurance costs in December 2017 41.7% higher than December 2013.· DoneDeal Motor Ads Published in 2017: 1,065,699. 7% increase from 2016. ·The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) issued the official 181 new vehicle registration figures for January along with their final SIMI/DoneDeal Quarterly Motor Industry Review of 2017.
Car sales figures for the month of January show 181 registrations for Co. Dublin down from 13,338 to 12,775 on the same period last year, representing a decrease of 4.22%. Nationally, 181 registrations are down -4.8% (37,125) compared to January 2017 (39,003). Light Commercials are currently up 6.3% (6,728) compared to January last year (6,329), while HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are down-11.84% (402) in comparison to January 2017 (456).
The SIMI/DoneDeal Report highlights a number of price decreases in the cost of motoring. The average price of a new car in 2017 was 2% lower than a year earlier, while the cost of motor insurance in December 2017 was 10.9% lower than it was a year earlier. However, the cost of fuel increased with Petrol prices up 4.2% and Diesel prices up 3.6% last year.
The report also shows Ireland’s strong economic performance last year but despite high levels of consumer confidence, the Motor Industry faced a significant and uncertain year with monthly declines in new car registrations figures, reflecting the substantial impact of Brexit. Used car imports increased by 29.5% in 2017 aided by the weakness in sterling and this also impacted on new car sales volumes by dampening the residual value of Irish used cars this increasing the cost to change for consumers.Looking ahead to 2018, economic factors look positive however Brexit related uncertainty looks set to continue.
Jim Power Economist and author of the SIMI/DoneDeal Report commented: “In normal circumstances, the positive economic backdrop would be expected to deliver growth of up to 10% in the new car market in 2018. However, the distortionary impact of sterling weakness and the associated surge in used imports from the UK will in all likelihood more than offset the positive economics. For 2018, the used import market is projected to grow by 20% to reach 114,950. New car registrations in 2018 are forecast at 118,220, which would represent a decline of 10% on the 2017 outturn.”
Director General of SIMI - Alan Nolan further commented:“2017 finished down 10.4% as anticipated and also recorded a shift in the market-share of Diesel cars from 70% to 65%. The same trends have been apparent in January’s new car sales, which have delivered a steady start to the 181registration period but Brexit has continued to impact with new car sales down 4.8% while used car import registrations are up 20% compared to January last year. Diesel continues to be the choice of engine for over half of Irish new car buyers however the noticeable trend towards petrol and hybrid vehicles which started last year has continued in 2018. We expect this pattern of sales mix to continue for the rest of the year. While the number of Electric cars registered in January (104) shows a decline on January 2017 (168), this is a timing issue with supply and later new model delivery dates. The Sector remains confident that EV registrations will increase significantly in 2018.”
Simon Andreucetti, Strategic Account Director of DoneDeal’s Motor section highlighted:"With a projected year-on-year sales surge of 20% in 2018, the statistics in this report highlight the impact that the used import market is having on the Irish motor landscape. The tax take from used car sales was up 34% last year, and, on DoneDeal, we too have continued to see growth, with over 1.1 million car ads placed on the site in 2017. This represents an increase of 7.5% compared to 2016 and now, just over one in every two motor ads placed on DoneDeal is by a car dealer."
IRELAND’S BIGGEST AND BEST CLASSIC CAR SHOW RETURNS TO DUBLIN
CAROLE NASH ANNOUNCED AS TITLE SPONSOR OF THE RIAC NATIONAL CLASSIC CAR SHOW THIS MARCH
The fourth RIAC National Classic Car Show returns to Dublin this March with leading classic car and motorcycle insurance broker, Carole Nash, being named as the title sponsor.
The theme of this year’s show will be ‘Celebrating Italian Car Design’ and is set to be held at the RDS, Simmonscourt Hall, Ballsbridge, Dublin on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th March 2018.
The Italian theme will be prominent throughout the show with some of the world’s most prestigious Italian designed cars and show stopping supercars.
Visitors can expect to admire the iconic Italian cars such as Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Abarth cars - many of which will never have been seen at an Irish classic car show. Of particular note will be the Maserati 105S racecar that is featured in all printed material to highlight the show. The main feature area will be an exceptional display of Ferrari supercars reflecting the distinguished history of this iconic brand.
Another feature display that is sure to be a favourite is the display of Micro Cars featuring six iconic cars, ranging from a rare Zandapp Janus to the smallest BMW ever made - the 300cc Isetta.
Two American Pumper Fire Engines will also be a big draw for many and add an international flavour to the exciting show.
The team at Carole Nash will be on hand throughout the weekend to offer discounted insurance to attendees, as well as launching an exciting new product. TV personality Fuzz Townsend will also be on the stand on Saturday and visitors will be able to ask questions and get a selfie with him.
RIAC Chairman Arthur Collier said “The Club is delighted to once again be bringing this event to the public as it serves as a showcase for the Old Car Movement that brings so much enjoyment to so many enthusiasts throughout Ireland. We are also delighted to be working with Carole Nash Insurance to further enhance the show as Ireland's most prestigious Classic Car Show.”
Head of Marketing at Carole Nash, Rebecca Donohue, comments: “We are absolutely thrilled to be the title sponsor of this year’s RIAC National Classic Car show. We have a full schedule on the Carole Nash stand, including an exciting announcement, so be sure to drop by and say hello - we look forward to seeing you there.”
The Carole Nash RIAC National Classic Car Show is supported by the Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club and the Irish Vintage Scene magazine.
Ticket information: Early bird tickets are available online for €13.50 = 25% discount. Purchase tickets on arrival for €18
The Royal Irish Automobile Club, founded in 1901, organised Ireland’s first Motor Shows in 1907 and 1908 and promise a fascinating display of vehicles new to the Show in 2018, with many unique cars not seen before.
About Carole Nash Insurance
Carole Nash was ranked as the UK’s 44th biggest insurance broker by Insurance Times magazine in 2017 Winners of the Personal Lines Broking Innovation of the Year award for 'Bikers Only' at the British Insurance Awards 2016 Winners of the Industry’s prestigious Insurance Times awards for Excellence in Motor Broking and Personal Lines Broker of the Year 2015The company employs around 400 staff in the UK and Ireland, and provides insurance for over 300,000 classic, vintage, modern, custom and off-road motorcycles – equivalent to around 25 per cent of all licenced machines. Carole Nash is a trading style of Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd registered in England and Wales No 2600841. Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
PEOPLE OF DROGHEDA ASKED TO WELCOME VISITORS INTO THEIR HOMES
The people of Drogheda are being asked to welcome some of the many thousands of visitors expected to attend Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann during the summer into their homes.
The Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann organising committee is calling on the people of Drogheda to consider renting out a spare room, or their entire home, to some of the visitors who will attend the festival in August. 400,000+ visitors from Ireland and around the world will participate in the Fleadh experience, many of whom have already expressed an interest in staying with local families in order to enjoy a traditional unique experience. The Chairperson of the Drogheda Fleadh 2018 organising committee, Lolo Robinson said“I expect the people of Drogheda to respond positively in their thousands to this long standing tradition of renting out rooms during the Fleadh. The people of county Louth are no strangers to opening up their homes to visitors and giving them a Céad Mile Fáilte to remember.” She added that renting out a room would give the visitors a first-hand experience of what a real Irish welcome is and will also allow those participating in the scheme to earn some money.
Due to continued growth, Insight Consultants is seeking a talented Client Executive to join our award winning team. The position offers an excellent career opportunity to contribute to a dynamic team working across both corporate and consumer divisions.
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Creatively contributing to public relations strategies for our clients.
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Industry Report Calls For Government Policies on Key Issues
Brexit Poses Biggest Threat to Ireland’s Largest Indigenous Industry since 2008 Global Crash, says ITIC
The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), the umbrella group for the tourism industry in Ireland, today (Monday, March 6th) publishes a report that warns of the sector’s vulnerability to Brexit and calls on the Government to support the sector with proactive policies. ITIC, along with representatives from Aer Lingus, the Irish Hotels Federation, the Guinness Storehouse - Ireland’s biggest visitor attraction - and Irish Ferries launched the Brexit & Irish Tourism – A Call For Action report today in Dublin. ITIC represents airlines, hotels, tour operators, ferry companies, visitor attractions and other tourism interests. The ITIC report, warns that failure by the Government to put policies in place to mitigate the adverse consequences of Ireland’s largest tourism market leaving the EU will damage jobs and regional growth. The report warns that Brexit represents the biggest challenge to the sector since the global crash of 2008. Back then the value of the UK market to Irish tourism fell by 23% in the space of 12 months. Tourism is Ireland’s largest indigenous sector, employing over 220,000 people, providing vital exchequer returns and regional balance. In 2016, the Irish tourism industry was worth over 8 billion euro, according to ITIC. The ITIC report identifies the immediate impact of Brexit as being the weakening of sterling, which damages Ireland’s competiveness and is having a negative impact on tourism and hospitality businesses. It calls on the Government to provide a €12 million boost to tourism budgets to consolidate UK market share, diversify into new markets and provide a package of supports to tourism businesses. The report also states that in the medium to longer term that the terms of any new EU-UK deal must be mindful of the needs of Irish tourism. In particular, the report identifies four areas as requiring special attention in negotiations. These include the preservation of the Common Travel Area and a soft border; maintenance of liberalised aviation access between the EU and UK; continued support for an all-island approach to marketing; and harmonisation of regulatory regimes across the island. Paul Gallagher, Chairman of ITIC, stated: “The UK is Ireland’s largest visitor source market with an estimated 3.9 million arrivals in 2016 valued at over €1 billion to the national economy. Over 2 in every 5 visitors to Ireland come from the UK and Brexit poses a unique and unprecedented challenge. It is absolutely vital that everything is done to support the tourism sector and underpin jobs”. Recent research in Britain conducted by RedC points to a 7% drop in outbound travel intentions. More significantly, it indicates that UK travellers will cut short their trips and that 37% of respondents intend to spend less by downgrading their choice of accommodation and limiting their holiday activities. ITIC pointed out that Brexit will have a particularly negative impact on Dublin and the border regions. Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO of ITIC, said: “The tourism euro is as valuable as the euro earned by any other export sector and more valuable in the context that tourism is one of the few industries that can provides regional balance and sustainable local employment. “The Government must be proactive and help the sector consolidate its market share in Britain but crucially diversify into other markets. Diversification cannot happen on its own – the State agencies for tourism need to be given the resources to increase traffic and business from Europe and North America.” Mr Gallagher added: “Tourism is defined by the free movement of people and the idea of a hard border on the island of Ireland, and corresponding travel disruption and cost would be a major backward step for Irish tourism. Tourism marketing budgets have been reduced by 45% in the last 6 years and these must be restored without delay.” Mr O’Mara Walsh stressed that the tourism sector was very exposed to Brexit and required a strategic support framework. ITIC is calling for a €12 million support package for Irish tourism to allow for market diversification and to support the industry and vulnerable tourism enterprises. “Other export sectors from agri-food to manufacturing have received specific Government supports to Brexit-proof them – regrettably tourism has not received such supports. Tourism cannot be take for granted as too many jobs are at risk.” Paul Gallagher, Chairman of ITIC, said: “The Irish tourism industry can be positive about its future but we must be mindful of threats and risks and Brexit is first among equals in that regard. As a sector if pro-tourism policies are adopted and appropriate investment strategies implemented we can add another 50,000 jobs by 2025 but Brexit poses a real risk to sustained growth unless the Government acts now”.
January 2017 car sales (39,019), on January 2016 (39,722) -1.7%
2017 forecast of new car sales, 142,000
New car sales total in 2016 (146,603) up 17.5% on 2015
€1.5 Billion Exchequer contribution in 2016 from car sales
Cost of Motoring: Average price of a new car -5.5% lower (Dec 2016 v Dec 2015), Petrol prices +1.9 %, (Dec 16 v Dec15) Diesel prices +3.2% (Dec 16 v Dec15), Insurance Costs up 61.5% since 2013.
Average C02 Emissions declined 30.5% since 2008
Value of Goods advertised in DoneDeal’s Motor Section €5.4 Billion 2016
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) today issued the official 171 car sales figures for January along with presenting their final SIMI/DoneDeal Quarterly Motor Industry Review of 2016. Alan Greene President of SIMI officially launched the report at the Clayton Hotel Dublin 4. Car sales figures for the month of January show that 171 registrations are -1.7% (39,019) compared to January 2016 (39,722). Light Commercials are currently -2.4% (6,394) compared to January last year (6,555), while HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are -6.3% (456) for January in comparison to the same time last year (487). The SIMI/DoneDeal Report highlights the strong economic performance of the Motor Industry last year, with growth in registration figures seen across all counties along with the upbeat nature of business confidence and investment reflected in commercial vehicles despite a softening of the market towards the latter half of 2016.
Jim Power Economist and author of the Review said “Looking ahead to 2017, while the outlook for car sales is a bit more difficult to predict than last year, the projected growth in personal disposable incomes and the availability of credit provide solid support for car sales. However, the impact of Brexit and the increased volume in imported used cars are other issues that may impact on new car sales this year., Overall, though, numbers should be fairly close to last year with perhaps a slight decline of around 3% in new car sales in 2017, which would imply new car sales of around 142,000.” Last year the Industry continued to generate strong returns for the Exchequer with a total VRT and VAT take of €1.5 billion (26.8% ahead of 2015) from new and used car sales alone. SIMI also issued New Vehicle Registration data for January 2017 which show that 171 new car registrations have had a steady start as anticipated, finishing just -1.7% lower than the total for January last year.
Alan Greene SIMI President commented “The Motor Industry continues to be a strong contributor to employment with 40,800 people employed throughout Ireland. Last year our Industry contributed €1.5 Billion to the Exchequer in car sales alone. 2017 was always going to be a more cautious year for businesses, right across the economy, but we have seen a steady start in January and hopefully we are on track for another good year and continuation of a stable market during the rest of the year”. The SIMI/DoneDeal Review outlined that the cost of motoring in 2016 which has seen an increase in in petrol +1.9% and diesel prices +3.2% (Dec 2016 vs Dec 2015), along with the average price of a new car has declined by 5.5% (Dec 2016 vs Dec 2015). Motor insurance costs since 2013 have increased by +61.5%, although there was a slight decrease in the last quarter of 2016 by -5.5%, costs in December still remained at 8.9% higher than a year earlier. Figures from DoneDeal, Ireland’s most popular motoring site also highlight the sustained upturn in the motor industry in 2016 with the volume of ads published in their Motor section increasing by 9.3%, represents a €5.4 billion in the value of goods advertised in DoneDeal's Motor Section. Cathal Cremen, Commercial Manager of DoneDeal’s Motor Section, said; “2016 proved to be another exceptional year for DoneDeal in terms of traffic growth and adverts placed on the site. Motoring again proved to be the most popular section of the site with 663,336 cars alone advertised on DoneDeal in 2016. “A significant feature of DoneDeal’s success in 2016 was the 17% increase in the number of car dealerships now subscribing to DoneDeal. This is very much a reflection of the commitment and investment that DoneDeal has been making to ensure we deliver a quality service for our clients.” To view the full 2016 SIMI Motor Industry Review in association with DoneDeal visit www.SIMI.ie/quarterlyreview
Ends Notes to Editor Report infographic click here Sound Byte from Economist Jim Power click here SIMI/DoneDeal Motor Industry Review Q4 2016 click here Video The Story of the Motor Industry in 2016 click here
January New Car Sales
New car sales in January 2017 (39,019) v January 2016 (39,722) -1.7%
171 Car Sales by county for the month of JanuaryClick Here
LCV sales in January 2017 (6,394) v 2016 (6,555) -2.4%
HGV sales in January 2017 (456) v 2016 (487) -6.3%
Top 5 selling car makes for January were Hyundai, Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, Nissan
Top 5 selling models for January were Hyundai Tucson, Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Golf.
Browne family confirm the sale of historic Westport House and Estate
The Browne family confirms that it has agreed with the estate’s administrators on the sale of the historic house and estate to Hotel Westport. In February 2016, the family had reluctantly agreed to the sale of Westport House and Estate.
They impressed upon their advisers that the best way to secure the future of this jewel in the crown of Mayo tourism was to attract an investor who would purchase the historic property and fulfill the plans and ambitions of the late Lord Altamont Jeremy Browne, the 11th Marquess of Sligo, to develop the estate as an integrated tourist attraction.
Robert Ganly of Ganly Walters extensively marketed the estate at home and abroad and it attracted significant interest. A preferred bidder was chosen after an exhaustive process and an agreement was signed in recent days.
Ms Sheelyn Browne stated: “This is an emotional day for our family. On the one hand, we are handing over custody of our ancestral family home after hundreds of years but we are doing so in the knowledge that the new owners are committed to bringing to fruition the ambitions and dreams of our late and much loved father Jeremy Browne. We are indebted to the estate administrators Con Casey and Dermot Furey for their unrelenting efforts to secure the future of the estate.
“We also want to thank all those who supported our efforts from our local TDs to the community of Westport. In particular we would like to thank Minister Michael Ring, Peter Hynes, Chief Executive of Mayo County Council and his team and NAMA for working constructively and collaboratively with our advisers.
“There is one group that deserves special mention. That is our hard-working and dedicated small team at Westport House. We would not have been able to survive the last three difficult years without their unwavering support and loyalty. They know who they are and we as a family owe them a great debt of gratitude.
“We have been touched very deeply by the wonderful support of the people of Westport over the last few difficult years. We are confident that Westport House will continue to be the anchor of tourism in the region and we have agreed to collaborate with the new owners.
“Our fervent hope and wish was that someone would buy the house and estate, invest in it to secure its future and to keep it open to the public so that it can continue to be the cornerstone of the tourist offering in our beloved Westport. We are delighted that today these hopes have been realised. The entire family wishes the new owners, the Hughes family every success as the custodians of this wonderful and magical place. We are sure that everyone in Westport will wish them well with this new venture.”
Mr. Cathal Hughes, Chairman of the Hotel Westport said: “I want to acknowledge all the efforts of the Browne family over the years to maintain this beautiful house and estate and we look forward to continuing this great work which was very much the vision of the late Lord Altamont. We plan to invest up to €50m in new facilities which will lead to the creation of 200 new jobs over the next five years. On behalf of the Hughes family I want to wish the Browne family every success in the future and I look forward to liasing with them as we develop our plans over the next few years. I want to assure all the existing staff, suppliers and customers that we will continue to operate as normal under the new ownership.
“As a local business family, we are delighted to be able to make this investment in our home town. We realise the importance of Westport house as a tourist amenity to the whole of Mayo and we will work very closely with the planners in Mayo County Council to ensure that the integrity of Westport House and estate is maintained whilst at the same time creating a viable sustainable business model that is in everybody’s interest long-term.
“Finally, I want to acknowledge the role of both Minister Ring and the Mayo Chief Executive Mr. Peter Hynes and his team in making it possible to conclude this deal. Without their support this project could not go ahead. Our ambition is to make Westport House one of the finest tourist attractions in the whole of Ireland and one that the people of Westport can be justifiably proud of.”
Peter Hynes, Chief Executive, Mayo County Council, stated: “Mayo County Council has always been very keen to ensure the future of Westport House. A study commissioned by this council in 2015 found that in an on-site survey, 60.9% of respondents cited Westport House as their principal motivation for travelling to Mayo. In terms of economic value generated by Westport House, some €50 million was spent in Mayo and the wider region by visitors to the house throughout the year.
“We’re incredibly lucky to have this national treasure as part of our County. We wanted to secure future viability and expansion of Westport House as an integrated tourism resort and we are delighted to have been centrally involved in bringing this complex undertaking to a successful conclusion. Today marks the start of a new life for the estate and we look forward to working with the new owners to enhance Westport House as a tourist destination and to ensure its success.”
Minister of State for Regional Economic Development Michael Ring stated: “I am delighted with the announcement that the future of Westport House and Estate has been secured and that there is a purchaser who is going to invest further in what is the jewel of the tourism offering in the West of Ireland. I am particularly pleased that it is a local family that has the courage and the vision to invest €50m and thereby create 200 sustainable local jobs over the next five years. I would like to say “Well done and good luck” to the Hughes family.
“I want to thank all of those involved, particularly the estate administrators Con Casey and Dermot Furey, Peter Hynes Chief Executive and Mayo County Council and NAMA for the very constructive approach they took to resolving this matter.
“I am very pleased that, through the co-operation of all parties involved, we have arrived at this point. I want to wish the new owners every success and stress that I will assist them with their own ambitious plans for this treasure.
AnTaoiseach Enda Kenny commented, “ I am delighted that this issue has been resolved. Westport House has been a very important amenity for generations of Mayo people and an important asset for tourism in the West of Ireland. I hope that the new arrangement will allow this to continue for generations to come.”
The property was successfully marketed nationally and internationally by Ganly Walters estate agents and managed by Mr. Robert Ganly, Managing Director.
Background on Westport House: The 18th century house and 183.8ha (455 acre) estate was put on the market as a tourist concern. The house is set in a magnificent landscape with views of Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick. The Carrowbeg River flows through the extensive parklands of Westport House.
The estate is one of the oldest in Ireland and comprises a range of buildings and facilities. The façade of the present house dates to 1778 and has been in the ownership of the Browne family from before this time. The family traces its lineage back to the 16th Century Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley.
A report commissioned by Mayo Council by CHL Consulting in 2015 concluded that Westport House Estate directly creates 47 jobs and accounts for €50.7 million of indirect expenditure for the region. The Browne family has owned the house for almost 400 years. It has been open to the public since 1960. Westport House Estate has also shown significant growth in recent years with over 162,000 paying customers in 2014 – up 82% on the 89,000 visitors in 2009.
Leinster and Irish Rugby International, Sean Cronin, officially launched the inaugural Irish Minigolf Open today at Rainforest Adventure Golf in Dundrum. The Irish Minigolf Open is set to take place on Saturday February 18th and Sunday February 19th in Rainforest Adventure Golf.
Sean Cronin and both his Leinster and Irish teammates are regular visitors to Rainforest Adventure Golf, with Irish International Ian Madigan holding the best record on both the “Aztec” and “Mayan” courses in Rainforest Adventure Golf, followed closely by Leinster and Irish International Dominic Ryan.
Sean Cronin, ambassador for the Irish Minigolf Open, commented, “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to discover the sport of minigolf and to learn and compete with some of the best in the world. It’s shaping up to be a very exciting weekend and I’m delighted to be part of it. Rainforest Adventure Golf is a fantastic venue to host the very first Irish Minigolf Open, both my teammates and myself love to compete on both courses during our downtime!”
This will be Ireland’s first World Minigolf Federation event, with the competition set to attract players from across the U.K. and Europe. Rainforest Adventure Golf have also named Make-A-Wish Ireland as their charity partner for the event, which will see the charity receive a sizable donation from Rainforest following the Irish Open.
Rainforest Adventure Golf are currently calling for participants to sign up and take part in the competition, where they will then get the opportunity to compete against some of the best minigolfers in the world and be in with a chance of cashing in on the prize fund which is in excess of €3,500.
With two titles up for grabs; Irish Open Champion and Irish National Champion, Rainforest are encouraging players of all levels to compete. International players will compete in the Irish Open while Irish players will compete across both categories.
Darrin O’Toole, General Manager of Rainforest Adventure Golf and Chairman of Irish Minigolf Association, said, “We are delighted to host Ireland’s very first Minigolf Open here in Rainforest. This is something we are all very passionate about and we’ve been working on pulling this together for the past number of months. We want to encourage as many people as possible to enter and take part in the tournament, which is why we decided to have two titles up for grabs, The Irish Open Champion and The Irish National Champion. The title of Irish National Champion is open to players of all levels who would like to compete. We want this competition to be fun and inclusive for everyone, no matter what level they play at.”
The competition format will be an eight round cumulative strokeplay competition on a single course in Rainforest. Five rounds will be played on Saturday February 18th with the remaining three rounds to be played on Sunday. Only the Top 18 players of the tournament will be eligible to play the final round. Rainforest have also waived practice fees with Free Open Practice available during the week leading into the competition.
Interested golfers are encouraged to register online via the Rainforest Adventure Golf Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RainforestAdventureGolf/. Participation for international players is €40 while Rainforest Adventure Golf are subsidising 50% off the fee for local players to encourage participation, bringing the entry fee down to €20. The competition is open to both males and females aged 16 years or older.
Gareth Crowe, Make-A-Wish Ireland, said, “Make-A-Wish Ireland is delighted to partner with Rainforest Adventure Golf as they host the Irish Mini Golf Open at their Dundrum headquarters. Make-A-Wish is proud to be associated with this unique sporting event and wish all of the golfers good luck during the competition. This support is vital to our work as we receive no government funding and we are extremely grateful to the golfers and team at Rainforest Adventure Golf as we work to grant more magical wishes to Ireland’s bravest children”
Pasi Aho, World Minigolf Federation Sport Director, said, “We are delighted to see our new member Irish Minigolf Association getting off to a flying start for their membership by organizing a highly attractive international competition in Dublin at Rainforest Adventure Golf. We hope this competition will encourage a lot of new Irish players to compete at WMF International Championships.”
Sean Homer, Chairman of the British Minigolf Association, and the Tournament Directorof the Irish Open, commented, "I'm delighted to support the newly formed Irish Minigolf Association in their first International competition. The course is part of a brilliant venue and will provide an entertaining challenge for all players who take part over the weekend in February."
The 2016 year in sponsorship kicked off with a bang. “I’m not angry with #Ladyball, I’m just disappointed”, said Newstalk’s Oisin Langan referring to one of the most divisive Irish sponsorships in recent years. Following on from their brand activations in other regions, Lidl finally took their first step into Irish sponsorship in 2016 and it came with a tidal wave of controversy.
A teaser video described the launch of a new Ladyball, especially for female use due to its soft touch and it’s pink aesthetic. The twitter account played along, serving to enrage and entertain Ireland’s online audience. Even to the uninitiated it was clear there was more to Ladyball, but it would have to be good, really good, to appease those who were baying for their marketeers blood.
When the reveal came it was in the form of a €1.5million investment by Lidl into the Ladies Gaelic Football Association and would backed by a substantial online, TV, outdoor and print advertising campaign to boost the profile of the sport across the country.
An impressive commitment to ladies football with the tagline #SeriousSupport, although even after the reveal many still questioned using such negative tactics for a package of support so big it should have been well able to stand on its own, without the controversial teaser.
Whatever about the strategy used, Lidl had raised the bar for sponsorship for 2016 and it was only a matter of time before their close rivals Aldi took the plunge into Irish sport. Their target was rugby. A four-year commitment by the German retailer focused on getting school children playing rugby was the hook and an ad campaign fronted by Paul O’Connell got their relationship off to an impactful start.
It wasn’t the only significant sponsorship announcement around Irish Rugby in 2016. Three Ireland had declared they would cease their sponsorship with the IRFU after the Six Nations and all eyes were on what logo would adorn the Irish jerseys on the summer tour in South Africa.
Before a new sponsor was officially revealed, Three had the opportunity to leave their IRFU partnership with some style and they accomplished this by helping to tackle something much bigger than rugby.
The mobile phone company teamed up with Focus Ireland to #TackleHomelessness, producing an impactful three minute promo video based loosely on “Ireland’s Call” calling on fans to stand Shoulder-To-Shoulder to tackle the crisis. Three also gave up their advertising slots across all media to support the campaign that was awarded the Sponsorship of the Year at the Irish Sponsorship Awards in November.
In May it was announced Vodafone would make the move back into Irish sport as part of a €15million 4-year-deal. Vodafone had cut their relationship with Irish sport when they ended their sponsorship of Dublin GAA in 2013 as the brand moved their sponsorship towards more popular culture such as comedy and music festivals. However 3 years later and Vodafone could not resist the lure of widespread appeal and exposure opportunities that Irish rugby provides.
While Vodafone’s rivals Three are retaining their relationship with the Football Association of Ireland, they are simultaneously moving into the music sphere. Their inheritance of the Point Depot naming rights following the O2 takeover has seen Three’s sponsorship strategy moving towards music events and festivals. This is exactly where Vodafone were moving to three years ago, highlighting the cyclical nature of sponsorship as brands try everything to target the younger demographics.
The summer of 2016 saw a multitude of brands competing across some of the biggest events in world sport, not to mention the GAA Championships. Euro 2016 and the Rio Olympics & Paralympics provided brands with the opportunity to engage Irish consumers through innovative activation with plenty of big names jumping on the Green Army bandwagon for the Summer.
The Greatest Show on Earth took place in Rio in 2016 and following on from the huge success of London 2012, they had a hard act to follow. Unfortunately the Games were overshadowed by a range of controversies both Irish and International, while disappointing results and a difficult time difference made it hard for Irish audiences to connect with the event in the same way they had four years previously.
Despite this some brands provided some excellent innovation in the run up to the games with Electric Ireland’s sponsorship of the Irish Olympic team again to the fore. Their 360 Degree training video with Michael Conlon in the run into the games was one of the main highlights.
The Euro 2016 Championships was a huge success for Ireland on a number of levels. Success on the pitch thanks to the likes of Robbie Brady and Seamus Colemen, while success off the pitch saw the Irish fans capture the hearts of people across the world with their lullabies and ability to serenade even the sternest of French police officers.
From a brand perspective, a strong advertising campaign from team sponsor Three around fan support was prominent throughout the tournament while Carlsberg were again busy activating at an Irish level ahead of the event. Spar’s Team of “Gary Breens” campaign was probably one of the most unique activations in the lead in to the Euros and managed to drive footfall to Spar shops for those who always wanted a facemask of Ireland’s 2002 World Cup cult hero.
The GAA Championships saw the annual battle in football and hurling across the Association’s tiered sponsorship. With three sponsors in each code, standing out from the crowd can be a huge challenge for brands. In 2016 the football championship saw Supervalu, Eir and AIB all competing for the hearts of football fans across the country.
This was AIB’s first foray into the inter-county game having excelled in their sponsorship of the club championships in recent years, particularly under with #TheToughest campaign. Their transition was seamless which made them the stand out brand in the football championship as they successfully merged both sponsorships with some innovative activations highlighting the key elements club teams play in preparing players to excel for their counties.
AIB managed to catch the eye of many with their Toughest Trade activation, which saw Aidan O’Shea swap Gaelic Football for American Football, while Brendan Maher traded the ash of a hurl for the willow of the cricket bat. The activation was supplemented with documentary coverage on TV3 and RTE and helped to further embed the AIB brand in the minds of GAA fans across the country.
While AIB made a big splash, Supervalu aligned their sponsorship to their healthy eating campaign whilst also directing communications around the sponsorship towards clubs at a grassroots level. Eir, who had invested so heavily in their re-brand and takeover of Setanta, were the quietest of the three sponsors so no doubt they will be planning some eye catching activations for 2017.
The Hurling Championship was the more unloved when it came to sponsors activation in 2016. Centra followed the path of their sister company Supervalu and activated through their “Live Well” healthy eating campaign, however the remaining sponsors Etihad and Liberty Insurance failed to properly push their sponsorships last year.
Not surprising from Etihad’s perspective as they have traditionally under activated one of Ireland’s hottest sponsorship properties but Liberty had made a huge push the previous year, particularly linking the hurling and camogie championships around their Women in Sport initiative. It became clear why they had been so quiet towards the end of the year as Liberty confirmed they would not be continuing the sponsorship in 2017.
This opened the door for a new face in the Hurling Championship, and online retailer, Littlewoods Ireland, took its place with a glitzy launch at Croke Park featuring Anna Geary, Austin Gleeson and Jackie Tyrrell. It was clear from the launch that Littlewoods Ireland had allocated a substantial budget to the announcement with a wealth of paid for content appearing online on launch day. If Littlewoods can allocate that level of budget to guarantee launch publicity it will be intriguing to see what they have lined up for the 2017 Championship.
Some of the other big name sponsors were continuing to make their mark in 2016. Guinness remain activating in sport as their Pro12 sponsorship keeps their foot in the door with rugby, while they continue to use clever activations around the GAA without the cost of a direct sponsorship.
Aviva’s Lansdowne Road sponsorship continues to pay off for the insurer with great success internationally for the rugby and soccer sides in 2016. However Aviva’s overall focus on grassroots sport continued in 2016 with their FAI Junior Cup sponsorship again a winner at the Irish Sponsorship Awards for the third time in four years.
This looks set to continue into 2017 as they announced their sponsorship of the FAI’s Soccer Sisters programme in November to supplement their already burgeoning portfolio of grassroots partnerships.
2017 promises to be another exciting year in the world of Irish sports sponsorship with VR, social and customer / fan facing activations to be prominent.
Declan Lee is a Client Director for Insight Consultants. He is a multi award winning PR consultant who has handled sponsorships on behalf of some of the biggest international brands including AVIVA, Powerade, Three, William Hill, the FIA and Coca Cola.
Thursday, December 29th 2016 Review of 2016 & Outlook for 2017 as Industry Publishes Roadmap for Growth to 2025 ·Irish tourism industry now worth over €8 billion in record year ·Overseas visitors’ spend increases 9% to €4.7 billion ·Tourism now employs 230,000 nationally ·ITIC publishes new strategy for tourism growth to 2025 Irish tourism hit new highs in 2016 with a record number of international visitors and the industry worth over €8 billion annually. Overseas tourists spent €4.7 billion in Ireland in 2016. This represented a 9% increase, or almost €600 million more compared to what was spent the previous year. Irish air and sea carriers earned a further €1.5 billion from tourists. Domestic tourism demand also picked up generating an estimated €1.75 billion, with a further €300 million earned from visitors from Northern Ireland. According to the CSO, the number of overseas visitors grew by 10% to 8.8 million - the highest number on record - with all four top source markets recording significant growth. There was an increase of 10% in holiday visitors, while business visitors and those coming to visit friends and relatives (VFR) were up 12%. “It has been a remarkable year for Irish tourism with record visitor numbers in both volume and value terms. 20,000 new jobs have been created in the sector in the last year and tourism is now Ireland’s largest indigenous employer” Paul Gallagher, ITIC chairman, said. ITIC Chief Executive Eoghan O’Mara Walsh added: “Irish tourism has performed extremely well in 2016, which is testament to the quality and competitiveness of our tourism product and industry. A number of external factors have also been in Ireland’s favour, including increased air access and a weak euro. It is vital that we chart a path for sustainable growth and avoid a return to the peaks and troughs of previous times”. 2017 - Positive outlook despite challenges Irish tourism businesses are positive about 2017 and are investing heavily in marketing as well as focusing on the need to continue delivering good value for money. The Government decision to maintain the 9% VAT rate on tourism services continues to support Ireland’s competiveness on the back of operating efficiencies and better value offerings from tourism businesses. The domestic market, which underpins many tourism enterprises, is expected to see further pick-up in the demand for short leisure breaks as personal finances improve. Despite Brexit concerns and capacity constraints, ITIC believes that the tourism industry can grow by a further 5% in overseas visitors and 7% in export revenue for 2017, given the healthy state of key source market economies and the increased air access into Ireland. However, growth is not guaranteed and there is much work to be done to underpin and sustain progress to date. Mr Gallagher said: “Tourism has much more potential for Ireland, but only if the right strategies and investment policies are pursued. ITIC believes that, based on anticipated tourism revenue growth, at least a further 7,000 jobs can be created in the tourism industry in 2017. It is one of the few industries that provides regional balance and delivers jobs in all parts of the country”. Irish Tourism Industry priorities for 2017 Brexit; a major concern The UK decision to exit the EU is a major challenge for Irish tourism. Although its impact has been modest to date, the immediate-term challenge has been the weakening of sterling. Mr Gallagher stressed the need for competitiveness: “As sterling weakens due to the uncertainty over Brexit, it is more vital than ever that Ireland remains competitive. I welcome the Government’s retention of the tourism Vat rate at 9% as this puts Ireland on an even keel with our European neighbours. In fact, 17 of the 19 euro-zone countries have Vat rates of 10% or less”. Mr Gallagher continued: “The Irish tourism industry too needs to remain competitive and continue to offer value for money and a high quality tourism experience”. Of significant concern is tourism’s place within any new EU-UK deal. Mr O’Mara Walsh said: “A hard Brexit would be damaging to Irish tourism. It is vital that in the negotiations between the UK and the EU that Irish tourism’s needs are reflected. This particularly relates to the need to maintain the Common Travel Area and the retention of liberalised air access rights.” Capacity Crunch Such has been the growth in tourism in recent times that demand has outstripped supply. This is particularly evident in terms of a shortage of hotel capacity in Dublin and other urban centres which risks limiting the ability of Ireland to attract increasing volumes of visitors. Dublin hotels are operating for much of the year at close to full occupancy due to the city’s popularity as a leisure and business destination. ITIC has long advocated that additional capacity is required in the capital city, Ireland’s dominant gateway. Mr Gallagher said: “Dublin has significant capacity constraints and visitor number targets will not be met unless the deficit in hotel bedroom development is addressed with some urgency.” He added: “We welcome the fact that up to 5,000 bedrooms are planned for Dublin in the coming years, but construction and development of these new hotels needs to start now. If demand and supply is out of sync, there will always be upward pressure on prices and a loss of competitiveness represents the single largest threat to tourism’s future growth. Should the planned new hotels not materialise, there will need to be policy intervention to stimulate new builds”. Need for continued investment in tourism ITIC has argued for some time that there is inadequate investment by the state in tourism. If tourism is to continue to grow, increase jobs, and provide an economic stimulus nationwide there needs to be increased marketing and product investment. Mr O’Mara Walsh expressed disappointment with the level of marketing investment in the recent budget: “The Government committed to a restoration of marketing funds and there has been no progress in this regard. Ireland is losing its share of voice internationally and this will detrimentally affect Irish tourism in the near future unless the marketing deficit is addressed with urgency”. Equally, Mr Gallagher commented that investment in tourism product and infrastructure was at an all-time low. ITIC is calling for a significant increase in tourism infrastructure spending in the upcoming review of the National Capital Plan. According to Mr Gallagher: “The Government needs to increase capital spending on tourism projects to €350 million over the next five years. This is a small fraction of what tourism contributes to the national economy and the investment is badly needed to ensure that there are new things to see and do of scale and international appeal.” Tourism 2025; A New Industry Roadmap for Tourism Growth ITIC today publishes a new roadmap for tourism growth and argues that overseas earnings generated by Irish tourism can be worth €7 billion annually by 2025, a 50% increase on the current export value. ITIC is confident that the sector can deliver on this if the right policies and investment strategies are pursued. Mr Gallagher said: “The current national government tourism targets to 2025 are unambitious and modest. It is high time that a new strategy is put in place for tourism growth that is led by the industry and facilitated by pro-tourism policies from the government”. Mr Gallagher stressed how important a vibrant tourism industry is to Ireland ”Tourism is in a strong place at the moment and now is the time for the Irish tourism industry to be planning ambitiously for the future. As a sector we can add 50,000 more jobs by 2025 if the right strategy is pursued”. ENDS Tourism 2025; An Industry Roadmap for Growth as well as ITIC’s full year-end Review for 2016 and Outlook for 2017 can be seen at www.itic.ie. For further information contact: Richard Brophy, Insight Consultants: 086-3853260 Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, Chief Executive, ITIC: 086-6057909 Paul Gallagher, Chairman, ITIC: 087-3768500 Notes to editors: The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation was founded in 1984 and is the umbrella group representing the leading tourism interests in Ireland. The full ITIC Review of 2016 and Outlook for 2017, as well as details on Tourism 2025 can be seen on www.itic.ie. Tourism is Ireland’s largest indigenous industries and is a critical component of the export economy.
Key tourism facts: ·Worth €8.1 billion annually ·8.8 million international staying visitors in 2016 – a new record ·Spend by international visitors increased by 9% in 2016 ·Employs 230,000 nationally ·1 in 9 jobs nationally in tourism & hospitality sector ·Average spend per US visitor while in Ireland: €790 ·According to Fáilte Ireland, every €1m of tourist expenditure supports 34 tourism jobs, for every €1 spent by tourists 24.5c is generated in tax