The City Pass: What’s in It for the Partners?

Joe McClain - Jan 26, 2009
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In 2004 Dublin Tourism introduced a City Pass for Dublin following the example of successful operations established in London, New York and over 35 major continental European destinations such as, Stockholm, Berlin and Copenhagen. 

By introducing the City Pass visitor card for Dublin, the involved partners can benefit from the global exposure of the internet and a comprehensive, united marketing approach to tourism in the city. The introduction of ‘smart’ technology enables partners to capture valuable demographic and usage data to better plan marketing activities. Further market intelligence and experience can be gathered from established city cards, which form the working group European Cities Marketing. 
The concept behind any visitor card is simple, with the aim being to offer visitors the best in attractions (currently 27), sightseeing, shopping, service and restaurant offers, all in one complete package – i.e. an overall ‘visitor experience’.

The purchase price covers entrance to visitor attractions and also gives access to special offers, added value and preferential rates (as opposed to ‘discounts’) at certain shops, theatres, venues and restaurants etc. The option of transport from the airport is also provided. 

How the system works… 

  • Dublin Pass is available in duration periods of 1 /2 /3 and 6 day passes
  • Visitor purchases Dublin Pass prior to arrival (via, Tour Operator/Travel Agent etc.) or on arrival in Dublin via a number of retail outlets (Tourist Information & Reservation Centres/Airport/Hotels/Retail outlets etc.)
  • They also receive a comprehensive guidebook on the Dublin Pass which includes a feature for each of the participating facilities (visitor attractions and restaurants/pubs/retail outlets etc) - this allows research and itinerary planning by visitors prior to arrival
  • Each participating facility must offer unique “added value” to the Pass holder in order to participate in the Dublin Pass. This special offer must be a quality, unique offer to encourage the visitor to visit your facility, e.g. “With every €30 spent in retail outlet, Dublin Pass holder is given a particular quality gift” or “With every 2 main course meals purchased in a restaurant, a free bottle of wine will be offered to Dublin Pass holders”

Access to Valuable Statistical Data 

You also have the option of installing a Dublin Pass Reader in your facility which will give you access to valuable statistical data on Dublin Pass visitors. The Reader downloads information nightly and you can view and print reports on statistical information relating to visitors daily.

The technology being used is a state of the art system that has the highest level of functionality of any City Pass system in the world. By using this system, it is possible to considerably automate manual processes and to use it as the backbone of the city pass operation. 

The information stored on the smart chip along with the reader's capacity to configure and download that information to a central database has provided the scheme with essential marketing information such as: Visitor flow and volume, Country of origin, Statistical mapping, Visitor tracking, Relationship marketing, Demographic profiling, or Success evaluation. 

Dublin Pass Statistics

The Dublin Pass will celebrate its 5th Birthday in May 2009. Over its first four years of operation, the Dublin Pass, using Smart card technology, has provided Dublin Tourism and participating facilities with essential marketing and visitor demographic information. The following are some Dublin Pass statistics for your reference:

  • Visitor flow and volume – Dublin Pass holders made over 94,000 visits to participating attractions in 2007
  • Country of origin of Pass purchasers – 38% from the UK, 28% from the USA, over 9% from Central Europe and over 6% from Scandinavia. The remaining visitors come from over 55 countries
  • Dublin Pass is promoted at over 40 trade and consumer shows worldwide each year including FITUR Madrid, ITB Berlin and WTM London.
  • The Business Tourism Unit of Dublin Tourism offer, promote and sell the Dublin Pass to over 100 conference organisers each year
  • VIP Dublin Passes were issued to over 700 visiting travel trade, press and media in 2007 to promote the Pass and each of its participants
  • Over 100 tour operators and travel agents sell the Dublin Pass worldwide to their clients

Benefits for Participants

By becoming involved in Dublin’s official visitor card, the partners will experience the following benefits:

  • Inclusion in Dublin Pass guidebook, websites and comprehensive worldwide sales and marketing and PR strategy
  • Maximizes exposure through a united marketing strategy
  • Eliminates brand devaluation of facilities from ‘discount’ offers
  • Increased visitor flow and numbers; increased visitor revenue (visitors who use a City Pass tend to have a greater spend on secondary goods, such as restaurants and souvenirs during their stay)
  • Increased international customers and proven incremental revenue
  • No. of participants in the Dublin Pass are strictly limited and once purchased, visitors will go to participating facilities as they will want to get value for their purchase
  • Can provide essential statistical information on visitor flow and movement


Benefits to Dublin

  • Increases visitor numbers to Dublin
  • Increases tourism spend
  • Achieves dispersal of visitors throughout the Dublin region
  • Enhances the image of Dublin as a premier world tourism destination
  • Enables Dublin to remain competitive with other tourism destinations
  • Allows Dublin to be marketed as a single product
  • Creates an image of an open and accessible city
  • Benefits both business and leisure tourism markets
  • Encourages repeat visits

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