Tourism Ireland has bought the Ireland.com domain name for €495,000, making it the second largest reported domain sale for 2012. The Irish Times acquired the domain in 1997 for what has been described as a low four-figure sum.
The domain name was bought from The Irish Times, and Tourism Ireland plans to use the domain as part of a move to re-develop Tourism Ireland’s suite of websites, capitalising on the growing importance of the internet in travel and holiday planning and to harness the phenomenal growth in social media.
“We are very pleased that the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas will have the opportunity to leverage the brand and URL that is Ireland.com,” said Liam Kavanagh, Managing Director of The Irish Times. “From an Irish Times perspective, we will now focus on the continued development of irishtimes.com and to position it at home and internationally as Ireland’s leading quality news and information website.”
“The domain name Ireland.com is a natural fit for the work we do to promote the island of Ireland overseas and we are very pleased to be acquiring it from The Irish Times,” said Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland.
“There are obvious benefits for tourism, including ease of recognition and sheer memorability which will allow us to achieve greater ‘stand-out’ in the markets and will bring increased efficiencies in terms of promotion and search engine optimisation. The acquisition is timely as we look forward to launching our new website towards the end of the year. Tourism Ireland’s Facebook audience is the third largest in the world for tourism bodies (after Australia and Spain) and our new site and new url will help us to harness more effectively the phenomenal growth in social media and to project an even stronger online presence to attract more visitors here.”
Of the top selling domain names for 2012, Domain Name Journal’s list of top reported sales has personalloans.com as the biggest seller, going for $1 million while Ireland.com’s €495,000 sale equates to about $644,000. Now coming in third is challenge.com and jackpot.com, which both sold for $500,000.