Two very proud Derry women have been unveiled among Ireland’s celebrity tourism ambassadors for 2023.

Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, who star in the hit Channel 4 comedy ‘Derry Girls’, will front adverts to be launched this St Patrick’s Day.

Other celebrities to feature in the campaign include Sharon Horgan, from Bad Sisters.

The campaign is all about dialling up what differentiates the island of Ireland from other destinations – communicated through well-known faces, who share what fills their hearts with Ireland.

The new campaign will go live in March to four main tourism markets – Great Britain, the United States, Germany and France – and will then be rolled out in nine other important tourism markets around the world.

The ads were unveiled at Tourism Ireland’s marketing strategy launch today.

This year, Tourism Ireland will roll out an extensive and targeted programme of activity with a marketing budget of €78 million.

Tourism Ireland aims to rebuild revenue from overseas holidaymakers to pre-pandemic levels – by attracting ‘value-adding tourists’ (visitors who stay longer, spend more in the regions and in Northern Ireland, arrive during the shoulder season and consider their impact on the environment) and by focusing on markets that deliver the greatest revenue. This will be achieved through a wide range of promotional activities, including major marketing campaigns, publicity and programming, social media and digital marketing, as well as working with the tourism industry at home and the travel trade overseas to facilitate sales.

Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “As we emerge from Covid, our priority for the year ahead is to drive the return of revenue from overseas holidaymakers to pre-pandemic levels and to ensure that overseas tourism contributes to economic sustainability. In 2023, we will roll out an extensive and targeted programme of promotional activity around the globe. We are excited to unveil our new ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’ global campaign, which will highlight our rich and authentic experiences, breath-taking landscapes and, in particular, our warm welcome.

“We are very aware that there is much uncertainty in the short-term – with ever-changing and significant risks right now, including the war in Ukraine and its implications on the cost of doing business. However, there is optimism for the long-term health of overseas tourism. Our job is to ensure that interest in Ireland, and the recovery in demand for holidays here, continues and that our industry returns to profitability.

“Above all, the need for Tourism Ireland to adopt a flexible and agile approach, taken over recent years, will continue in 2023 and beyond.”