What's in a domain name?

A few bucks it would seem.

Tourism Ireland has acquired the domain name ireland.com from The Irish Times as part of plans to unveil a new website for the Irish tourism industry, the Irish Times has reported.

Tourism Ireland chief executive, Niall Gibbons, said the domain name was "a natural fit" for the work the all-island state body does to promote Ireland overseas.

The ease of recognition for the domain name will make the site stand out as a destination for potential visitors when they perform online searches relating to Ireland, Gibbons added.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

Tourism Ireland forked over a €495,000 fee to The Irish Times under what is termed "a digital co-operation agreement."

"We are very pleased that the organization responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas will have the opportunity to leverage the brand and URL that is ireland.com," said Irish Times managing director, Liam Kavanagh.

"From an Irish Times perspective, we will now focus on the continued development of irishtimes.com and to position it at home, and internationally, as Ireland's leading quality news and information website," Kavanagh said.

The Times, according to the report, acquired the ireland.com domain name in 1997 and for a decade the URL hosted content from the newspaper as well as a breaking news service. In 2008, irishtimes.com became the URL for all the company's editorial content.

Tourism Ireland's new website, meanwhile, will support 11 different languages and over 30 individual markets.

"Our new site and new URL will help us to harness more effectively the phenomenal growth in social media and to project an even stronger online presence to attract more visitors here," said Niall Gibbons.