Tourism Ireland are planning a marketing drive for 2011 in the United States next week. An extensive promotional campaign will be launched on December 26.

The tourism body believes that the worst of the economic recession is now over in the United States and consumer confidence and travel sentiment is steadily improving.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said “This campaign is just the start; it’s all about getting in early and keeping Ireland to the fore

“The good news is that the island of Ireland enjoys a great level of awareness and a very positive image as a desirable holiday destination in the United States and is on nearly everyone’s ‘wish list’.  The most urgent task for Tourism Ireland is to persuade Americans who had put their travel plans on hold or who intend visiting Ireland ‘some day’, to come in 2011.

“Our messages in 2011 will include: there has never been a better time to visit the island of Ireland; the welcome for American visitors has never been warmer; there is a superb range of interesting things to see and do including great cultural experiences, events and sporting opportunities; on-the-ground value has never been better; and it has never been easier to get here from US cities.”

Their campaign will focus on targeting diaspora, creating positive word-of-mouth and golf and business tourism. Their campaign will include radio ads in cities with direct flight routes. These will include New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas and Houston.

It will also include online advertizing with their “Go” webisodes. This is a short series of online movies starring real local characters from around Ireland. The movies will also highlight the fun and spontaneity of Ireland.

Golf will also be a major focus with ads running in Golfweek magazine and as well as on TV.