Tourism Ireland Acquires
Neustar Domain Names

Tourism Ireland Acquires


According to an article in The Irish Times this morning, Tourism Ireland acquired the 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 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 The tagline of the website is “marketing the island of Ireland overseas,” so it’s appropriate to operate on the exact match .com. The ccTLD is owned by  Fáilte Ireland,  the National Tourism Development Authority. They forward the domain name to

The sale of 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, earlier this year.

Top 10 reported geodomain sales:

  • – $5,000,000
  • – $2,000,000
  • – $1,600,000
  • – $1,500,000
  • – $1,000,000
  • – $800,000
  • – $700,000
  • –  $635,579  $642,065*
  • – $550,000
  • – $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.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (15)

    David Webb

    Does anybody know if and were sold to the same buyer?

    That would be quite some investment!

    October 15th, 2012 at 11:36 am


    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?

    October 15th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I agree that it was a very good price for the buyer. If they were concerned about gTLDs, I highly doubt they would have spent well over half a million for it.

      It seems that a handful of people are blaming the tightening market on gTLDs. I think that’s “malarky.” Ireland happens to be one of the PIGS and is likely facing even more economic uncertainty than the US. Having liquidity is important.

      October 15th, 2012 at 12:08 pm


      “Malarkey” I love that word, Joe Biden definitely gave its value a boost last week.

      October 15th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Figured it was appropriate given the recent debate and the topic of this post 🙂

      October 15th, 2012 at 12:19 pm


    ya buddy, this is a great deal, AND SUPER PERFECT for a tourism of ireland, go to

    Win and Winner, and Big winner.

    October 15th, 2012 at 12:12 pm


    “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.

    October 15th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    ohad adi weitzman

    Didnt sold for over $5,000,000?

    October 15th, 2012 at 1:08 pm


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

    October 15th, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Mark Collier

    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.

    October 15th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Ireland is a great country to visit. I look forward to my next trip!

      October 15th, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    David Webb

    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 🙂

    October 16th, 2012 at 5:24 am

    John McCormac

    The 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 property website at the top of the property bubble. It had been using as the primary brand for the Irish Times newspaper on the web but split that in an attempt to develop 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.

    October 16th, 2012 at 6:33 am

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