Tourism Ireland has announced the launch of a new online marketing campaign in the UK and the United States.

The agency responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas as a holiday destination is carrying out the targeted marketing programme as part of a 2.6 million euro (£1.8 million) global web development project.

Agencies LB Icon and Wheel have created two new websites for Tourism Ireland specifically for the UK and the US markets. Tourism Ireland websites will eventually be available in 27 different markets and in 14 different languages.

The new consumer website, Discoverireland.com, was launched last month by British minister for enterprise trade and investment, Angela Smith, and Irish minister for arts, sport and tourism, John O’Donoghue, in Belfast. Data streaming to all the websites will be provided by Failte Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

The initiative is the largest indigenous web-project undertaken on the island and features information generated from a database of more than 30,000 tourism products including accommodation, festivals, attractions and events, updated daily.

A new multi-million pound advertising campaign entitled Discover Your Very Own Island has accompanied the online scheme in the US and Great Britain. Sites for Germany and France will be unveiled next month.

Mr O’Donoghue said: “Discoverireland.com also offers a truly dynamic user experience which will encourage not just looking, but also booking and I have no doubt that it will drive even more business to tourism enterprises, both urban and rural.”

Tourism Ireland was established under the framework of the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998 and covers the whole island, employing 150 people in key markets, including the UK and the US.

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