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Published on : Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Tourism Ireland is hoping to replicate the branding success of the Wild Atlantic Way, with a campaign targeting “Ireland’s Ancient East”. The country is also hoping the release of Star Wars: the Force Awakens, which will feature Skellig Michael off the Co Kerry coast, will generate interest in Ireland among a new and younger generation of American tourists.
Tourism companies are hoping 2016 will deliver another bumper year, with tourism footfalls rising to a record 8.2 million and revenue shooting up to €4.4 billion. This is according to Central Statistics Office figures that show major growth in the industry over the last five years.
Dublin will be promoted with a campaign entitled Dublin – a Breath of Fresh Air. The programme is aimed at building something of a “perfect storm” in the hospitality industry, according to Stephen McNally, president of the Irish Hotels Federation. After five years of little refurbishment in hotels, he said new investment was currently seeing more than 700 bedrooms being refurbished in Dublin alone. There was also a more favourable exchange rate for visitors from the US and Britain.
McNally rejected claims of “price gouging” in relation to inflation in hotel prices. Such claims were made at the time of the recent Web Summit in Dublin. He said that while last-minute hotel prices could be expensive, “on the Wednesday of the Web Summit the average price of a hotel room was €155”. He said the average price on Wednesdays in the summer was normally at that level while in winters, the average price could plummet to €110.