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December 10 2017 6:00 PM
Tourism Ireland is changing the way it targets British tourists as it seeks to counteract a fall-off in visitor numbers from the UK.
The move comes as the agency launches a new marketing campaign based on the Star Wars series - the latest instalment was partially filmed in a number of locations along the Wild Atlantic Way. Mark Hamill, the actor who plays Luke Skywalker, is on board for the new campaign and is due to be unveiled in a series of advertisements before Christmas.
Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons said research the agency had carried out indicated there were two categories in the UK of potential visitors to Ireland.
The agency has decided to spend more on a cohort it calls the "culturally curious" - people who tend to be over 45, with larger disposable incomes.
"They are people who are less likely to be impacted by currency shifts," Gibbons said, adding that visitor numbers from the UK are down about 6pc this year in the Republic. Some 90pc of Tourism Ireland's UK budget will be spent on this category next year.