Tourism Ireland has adopted a new PR strategy to attract visitors to the country, shifting its focus to social media.
The government-backed company is paying over €300,000 this year to influencers on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube in hopes that they will sell Ireland to tourists, the Sunday Times reports.
It says the marketing strategy is a 'key tool' in restarting the country's tourist economy after the pandemic.
An additional €221,000 has been spent on traditional media methods, such as fact-finding visits and Irish "familiarisation".
This figure is expected to double by next year.
The Tourism Marketing Fund was allocated an additional €35 million euro in the last Budget, as overseas visitors began to flock to Ireland again as the country reopened.
How much of this money is coming directly from the pockets of ordinary people?"
Sunday Times journalist Patrick O'Donoghue explained the thought process behind Tourism Ireland's plan.
"They use a tool called Clear, which is a sort of database that allows them, they say, to confidently source the most effective influencers that they can, the ones that will bring the most engagement", he said.
"They do claim that this is well researched and that they do have a firm basis for the influencers they're selecting."
However, O'Donoghue was wary of the amount spent on the strategy, given the country's current economic state.
"It's interesting, especially during the cost of living crisis."
"How much of this money is coming directly from the pockets of ordinary people?"