New Head of Tourism Ireland in Britain

Tourism Ireland has announced the appointment of Vanessa Markey as Head of their British market operation.

A native of Co Meath, Vanessa joins the organisation with extensive senior marketing experience, having worked most recently with Bentley Motors where she was Marketing Strategy, Launch & Planning Manager. Prior to that, Vanessa held a number of positions with Jaguar Land Rover; as Marketing & PR Manager Europe for Land Rover, Primary Brand Communications Manager Global for Jaguar Land Rover, and Commercial Services Manager for Heritage Motor Centre (Land Rover). Her tourism experience includes DFDS Seaways where she was Strategic Marketing Manager and successfully led a major rebranding project, from Scandanavian Seaways to DFDS Seaways.

This wealth of knowledge and experience in international marketing which Vanessa brings to her new role will be a critical factor in turning around the precipitous decline which has taken place from Ireland’s largest market. Over 1 million fewer British visitors will come here this year than arrived in 2006, a 30% drop, with pure holiday visitors down even more. Associated revenue from British visitors will have dropped by at least one third from its peak of almost €1.4 billion in 2007 to about €880 million this year.

As the ITIC report A Changed World for Irish Tourism pointed out, the British market is still considered to offer the best opportunity for growth, and recovery is regarded by the Industry as "essential" to Ireland’s overall tourism recovery.

Given the loss of market share over the past 9 months of outbound travel from Britain, this presents quite a challenge, but one which the Industry looks forward to tackling with Vanessa and her colleagues.

Welcome on board Vanessa, and good luck!

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November 4th 2010

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