TORONTO — Ireland is open and ready to roll out the green carpet for Canadians.
Always a favourite from this market, Ireland is looking to tap into Canada’s pent-up demand for travel, and the charms of the Emerald Isle, with a new ‘Green Button’ promotional blitz.
The new campaign, from Tourism Ireland, will be seen by over 10 million Canadians.
Says Sandra Moffatt, Tourism Ireland’s Manager, Canada: “We are delighted to roll out our ‘Green Button’ campaign in Canada. We look forward to working closely with our key media, travel trade and carrier partners in the months and years ahead – to rebuild tourism to the island of Ireland.”
The multi-media promotional campaign aims to generate awareness of Ireland and drive bookings for short breaks and holidays in Ireland, between now and the end of 2021, she adds. “Our key message is that we cannot wait to roll out the green carpet and welcome back visitors from Canada.”
Flights to Ireland are ramping up as well. On Sept. 18 Aer Lingus resumed its nonstop flights between Toronto and Dublin with two flights per week. Effective Sept. 27 that frequency increased to four flights per week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays). Sale fares bookable between now and Oct. 7 start at $399 roundtrip, for travel Oct. 1, 2021 – Feb. 17, 2022.
Aer Lingus passengers can change their flights up to two hours before they are due to depart with no change fee. The Aer Lingus ‘Book with Confidence’ offer is available on all fare types allowing flexibility should plans change.
“We are delighted Aer Lingus has reinstated their direct flights from Toronto to Dublin, with regular frequency and great value airfare on offer for travel this fall-winter,” says Moffat. “Whether your trip is to reconnect with family and friends, explore your heritage or to experience all Ireland has to offer, it is now even easier for travellers to experience our world-famous ‘Céad Míle Fáilte – ‘one hundred thousand welcomes’ that awaits on the Emerald Isle.”
Moffat adds that Tourism Ireland’s ‘Green Button’ campaign concept will deliver a clear ‘book now’ message, creating a commitment to travel by pressing a green button – green being the colour of ‘go’ and the colour universally connected with the island of Ireland.
Before COVID-19, in 2019, Ireland welcomed almost 11.3 million visitors to the island of Ireland, whose visits generated €5.8 billion in revenue.
Moffat adds that Ireland has maintained strict entry requirements for international arrivals in line with the EU, in order to ensure the health and safety of travellers and local communities, as well as implemented strict health and safety protocols to ensure all businesses, including the hospitality sector, have been able to re-open and operate safely.
For fully vaccinated travellers to Ireland, no travel-related testing or quarantine is necessary.
Travellers without valid proof of vaccination will need to: present evidence of a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours prior to arrival into Ireland; self-quarantine; and undergo post-arrival testing (provided through the Health Service Executive in Ireland).
We asked Tourism Ireland if Ireland recognizes mixed-dose vaccinations as fully vaccinated.
“Mixed dose vaccines are still not recognized in Ireland, however that will likely change in the coming months,” Tourism Ireland spokesperson Jocelyn Black told us.
And if third booster shots become more widely available, that offers an option for mixed-dose travellers, says Black. Ireland accepts two doses of a single brand, so if a traveller got Moderna and Pfizer as their first two doses, they would just need to get a third dose of one of those brands.
Close to 4 million Canadians have mixed-dose vaccinations.
For travel-related information and up to date requirements, Tourism Ireland recommends the Irish Government website and the Northern Ireland Government website. Meanwhile Tourism Ireland’s site is ireland.com.