An Initiative of
Boothbay Harbor, Maine
About the New England Market for Ireland Tourism
Size and Population
The New England region of six states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island) in the Northeastern United States has a land area of approximately 72,000 square miles (187,000 square kilometres) and a population of more than 14 million. Its population density of 222 persons/square mile(86/square kilometre) exceeds that of 40 of the 50 US States, and is nearly three times as great as the US average population density. All of New England is within the US Eastern time zone. High population density and common time zone are advantageous for media reach, particularly geotargeting and dayparting of online advertising.
The shift which the US is experiencing from a primarily manufacturing economy to a primarily service economy has benefited New England, because of its highly educated population and strong research and development, education and health-care bases. Median household incomes (2013) in New England ranged from $71,322 in New Hampshire to $50,121 in Maine. All the New England states except Maine had mean household incomes above the US mean $51,939, and three (New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts) are among the top-10 US states for household income. New Hampshire had the highest mean household income of any US state in 2013. Also, three New England states (New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut) are among the 10 US states with lowest poverty rates. And New England's economic recovery is outpacing the rest of the USA - fewer than 15% of homeowners in New England have negative equity in their homes, vs. the national average of more than 22%.
There is easy air access to Ireland from New England. Boston's Logan International Airport, the primary airline gateway to and from New England, offers nonstop service to and from 76 domestic and 41 international destinations including Shannon, Dublin and West Knock Airport.
High Cost of Travel not a Barrier
New Englanders, with their high household incomes, tend to be tolerant of high travel costs. This is an important consideration for Ireland, because several factors make travel to Ireland expensive for Americans: the cost of long-haul airfare, the weakness of the US dollar against the euro, and the fact that Ireland is a high-priced destination compared to many other European countries. According to the US Travel Industry Association, "The destination or company that gets travellers interested in their offerings before the question turns to price has an advantage."
Another factor favouring New England as a source market for Ireland tourism is the high incidence of Irish heritage among New Englanders. New England accounts for 5% of the US population and 6% of all outbound travellers, but 11% of the Irish-American population and 12% of the US visitors to Ireland. Irish-Americans are the largest ancestral group in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Also, according to the US Census, Irish-Americans are better educated and more financially sound than the American population as a whole. 30% of Irish-Americans age 25 or older have bachelor's degrees or higher, vs. 24% for the USA overall, and their annual median household income is 14% above the overall US mean.
New Englanders are Online and Buying Travel
Travel is by far the most prevalent type of product bought online by New Englanders. Of all US regions, only in the Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon - located 4000 kilometres west of Boston and nearly 10,000 kilometres west of Dublin - is the average Internet penetration greater than that of New England.
New Englanders Use Google
Americans are very heavy users of Internet search - of which Google has a 67% share in the USA - for both researching and buying products and services. Eighty percent of all Internet traffic begins at a search engine - if you're not visible in search engines, Americans won't engage with you offline. Nearly three out of four American travel buyers consult search engines before making a travel purchase, compared to only four in ten who visit the Web site of a specific national tourist office or destination promotion board.
Sponsored Search Advertising Works
Sponsored (paid) search marketing has become the most popular online advertising format in the US, accounting for over 40% of all online advertising spending and over 66% of searches resulting in visits to travel sites. In a survey of US marketers, paid search was the most highly rated online marketing tactic, chosen as "most effective" by 52% of respondents, with conversion rates of 2.8% to 6.3% depending on marketing goal.
Google AdWords: Precisely Targeted Direct-Response Advertising
Google AdWords permits geographic targeting of potential New England visitors to Ireland by state, Designated Market Area (DMA), city or radius about a point. You can use this link to see information on numbers of New England homes and persons reachable by geotargeting by state, DMA or city.