Tourism Ireland Acquires Ireland.com

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According to an article in The Irish Times this morning, Tourism Ireland acquired the Ireland.com domain name from The Irish Times. Business and Leadership pegged the value of the deal at €490,000*. At today’s exchange rate, that equals approximately $635,579 (*see update below).

The registrant of Ireland.com is still listed as The Irish Times, as it has been for a number of years, dating back to at least 2001. Although I am not sure if the website was included in the transaction, the Irish Times article stated that Tourism Ireland has “plans to unveil a new website for the tourism industry later this year.

Tourism Ireland currently operates a website on TourismIreland.com. The tagline of the website is “marketing the island of Ireland overseas,” so it’s appropriate to operate on the exact match .com. The Ireland.ie ccTLD is owned by  Fáilte Ireland,  the National Tourism Development Authority. They forward the domain name to DiscoverIreland.ie.

The sale of Ireland.com ranks as one of the ten highest reported public geodomain sales. There are a number of private geodomain sales that likely have eclipsed this amount, including the seven figure sale of Denver.com, earlier this year.

Top 10 reported geodomain sales:

  • Korea.com – $5,000,000
  • England.com – $2,000,000
  • Branson.com – $1,600,000
  • Russia.com – $1,500,000
  • Britain.com – $1,000,000
  • Singapore.com – $800,000
  • Melbourne.com – $700,000
  • Ireland.com –  $635,579  $642,065*
  • Macau.com – $550,000
  • Jerusalem.com – $500,000

Update: The Irish Times posted an update on its website saying the deal was valued at  â‚¬495,000, or approximately $642,065.

15 COMMENTS

  1. A little over 600k for a whole country. They gave it away at that price or is this the beginning of the gtld’s changing the market already?

  2. “Tourism Ireland has paid a fee of €495,000 to The Irish Times under a digital co-operation agreement.”

    It makes no sense for Irish Times to sell that cheap unless they retain accommodations and classifieds parts. So my best guess is that Irish Times will retain some profitable aspects of the site like accommodations.

  3. I was surprised too but then I thought about it and being a little biased since I’m Irish (and own Irishman.com) I then think of Ireland’s population on 5 million as opposed to Korea’s 50 million..

  4. As an Irishman, I am particularly proud to have a government agency putting the taxpayer’s money to good use and investing wisely, hopefully this acquisition will help them attract more tourists to Ireland.

  5. I don’t deny, it’s a fantastic place to visit and the people are wonderful.

    But in terms of Domain value, the seller must be laughing all the way to the bank!

    p.s. Thanks for answering my Britain/England question Elliot 🙂

  6. The ireland.com domain is to be used as a global tourism brand. Unlike the USA, the Irish market has a strong ccTLD (.ie) market so .com would really occupy around 50% of the domain footprint for Ireland.

    The Irish Times record on web purchases has not been particularly good and it is known for spending over 50M Euro on the myhome.ie property website at the top of the property bubble. It had been using ireland.com as the primary brand for the Irish Times newspaper on the web but split that in an attempt to develop ireland.com as a portal for Irish events and tourism but that didn’t really work out well. This purchase by Tourism Ireland also has a development/content deal involved so the domain is part of the deal. Still, it is not bad for a domain purchased for around 7K Irish Pounds in the late 1990s.

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