Targeting value-minded travelers with children, the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau's "Kids Eat Free/Columbus Zoo Getaway" and "Dublin Irish Festival" packages broke all previous package records this year, both in room nights and tickets sold. Creating value-added packages has become an effective strategy for attracting visitors and their travel dollars to the city of Dublin.

Targeting value-minded travelers with children, the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau's "Kids Eat Free/Columbus Zoo Getaway" and "Dublin Irish Festival" packages broke all previous package records this year, both in room nights and tickets sold. Creating value-added packages has become an effective strategy for attracting visitors and their travel dollars to the city of Dublin.

In partnership with 10 Dublin hotels, the Columbus Zoo, Zoombezi Bay and six local restaurants, the bureau packaged an attractive build-it-yourself online getaway this past summer that included discounted tickets to the zoo and Zoombezi Bay, discounted hotel rooms and kids-eat-free coupons at various restaurants. The promotion generated nearly 1,300 room nights and 4,300 zoo/Zoombezi Bay tickets and provided more than 4,500 free kids-meal coupons to visitors from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The room nights sold represented a 253-percent increase over 2009 figures, with ticket sales up 154 percent.

Another very successful package this summer was the bureau's Dublin Irish Festival package, which offered out-of-towners discounted hotel rooms and tickets. Overall, Dublin's hotels experienced a 24-percent increase in visitors for the Dublin Irish Festival over last year.

The bureau's primary role is to promote Dublin as a great place to visit and to encourage visitors to spend their travel dollars in our city. Over the past year, we have adapted our marketing strategies to meet the changing travel habits of visitors, who are looking to stay closer to home and seeking great value and a great product. Creating value-oriented packages that combine a wide array of options and community partners has become an effective way to attract visitors.

In the coming months, there will be other Dublin packages offered via the bureau's website. Among these will be the "Kids Go Free" Columbus Zoo Wildlights package. It will include free Wildlights tickets and meals for the kids participating in the package (available Nov. 19 to Dec. 31). To book a package or to join in the conversation via our blog, Facebook page or Twitter, visit our website at www.IrishisanAttitude.com.

Scott Dring is the executive director of the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau.