Irish tourism shaken by sudden departure

The Irish Tourist Board’s international marketing director has resigned, just hours after the controversial new Ireland tourism logo, which he masterminded, was scrapped.

The Irish Tourist Board’s international marketing director has

resigned, just hours after the controversial new Ireland tourism logo,

which he masterminded, was scrapped.

Noel Toolan’s decision to quit his pounds 100,000-a-year job, after

completing less than half of a five- year contract, has surprised the

industry and shocked the Tourist Board. It comes after new Irish Tourism

Minister, Dr Jim McDaid, ordered a revamp of the controversial tourism

logo within weeks of taking office.

Toolan, aged 39, has wide international experience and his recruitment

was regarded as something of a coup. He had previously worked with

Procter & Gamble and Grand Metropolitan.

Toolan was responsible for setting up Tourism Brand Ireland, a new

marketing concept that portrayed the country as a modern, vibrant

holiday destination and eliminated the traditional, thatched cottage

image. He commissioned a new logo, replacing the traditional shamrock

with a couple about to dance or embrace.

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board liked the idea and committed pounds

500,000 to promote the new brand on an all-Ireland basis.

However, the new government has scrapped the logo and plans to return to

the shamrock motif at a cost of pounds 100,000.


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