Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, a tourism strategy run by Fáilte Ireland, is using social media ‘influencers’ to increase tourist footfall in Westmeath.
An influencer is someone who has a large online following and, in one case, Rozanna Purcell, who has 500,000+ followers on Instagram, was paid by the Hidden Heartlands team to have a holiday in Westmeath.
“We have a number of influencers that we’re bringing into the county,” said Paddy Matthews, the head of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.
“We had a very successful example last year with Roz Purcell. Some of what we did with her went viral and we got some huge hits online.
“She has over half a million Instagram followers, and it’s been aimed at people who follow her, so they are the people we were trying to influence.
“Rozanna Purcell posted a series of photos around Athlone last August and told her followers she “can’t wait to go back again, the heartlands have stolen my heart”.