Niall Gibbons was appointed Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, the organisation responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas, in June 2009.
Since his appointment, Niall has overseen the marketing of Ireland as a tourism destination across the world, leading a team of 150 staff in 23 markets. 2016 was the best year ever for tourism to the island of Ireland, surpassing previous records, with about 10.5 million visitors. The World Economic Forum has ranked Ireland 5th in the world (out of 140 countries) for tourism marketing and branding effectiveness.
Niall has spearheaded Tourism Ireland’s development in the digital area, with the launch of the global website Ireland.com, and has overseen the organisation’s emergence as a leader in digital marketing and social media. Today, Tourism Ireland ranks fourth in the world among tourism boards on Facebook, with over 3.8 million active fans and over 760 million global connections, fourth in the world on Twitter and third on YouTube. He has also led the expansion of Irish tourism into the new, fast-growing tourism markets of the future, such as India and China. He led the development of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, which has brought tourism to the heart of St Patrick’s Day celebrations across the world – in 2017, hundreds of sites and icons around the world will go green, generating positive media coverage for the destination overseas worth over €10 million. In the area of screen tourism, he has developed ground-breaking partnerships with LucasFilm and HBO, which have allowed Tourism Ireland to leverage the global phenomena that are Star Wars and Game of Thrones to showcase the island of Ireland, in a new way, to hundreds of millions of fans across the world.
Tourism Ireland has special responsibility for helping Northern Ireland to realise its tourism potential and Niall has spearheaded major global marketing initiatives for Northern Ireland, around the globe. He works tirelessly across jurisdictions to foster North-South and cross-community relationships.
Niall is a business graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He is Deputy Vice President of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Northern Ireland Executive’s Tourism Strategy Development Committee, sits on the Export Trade Council for the Irish Government and is a member of Culture Ireland’s Expert Advisory Committee.
Niall is married to Marion and they have four children.