Ireland’s tourism enjoys robust first quarter in 2016

Published on : Wednesday, April 20, 2016

IrelandTourism has enjoyed a robust first quarter in 2016 and the indications are that this summer will be another busy season for the sector, Fáilte Ireland pointed. Ireland’s national tourism authority however cautioned against over-complacency.


The agency also today published its annual Visitor Attitudes Survey which shows that overseas holidaymakers to Ireland last year continued to rate the country as good value for money and that the country matched or exceeded their expectations as a holiday destination.


Seat capacity on airlines flying into Ireland this summer is projected to grow 9% on summer 2015 and tourism businesses across the country are reporting increased bookings.


In Dublin, most hotels are reporting growth for Q1 and extremely high occupancy levels during March as well as a significant jump in booking levels for the summer ahead. Visitor attractions in the city are also very busy with, for example, the Guinness Storehouse enjoying 15% growth in the first three months of the year and their busiest day on record on March 18th – with 10,000 visitors on that day alone.


Along the Wild Atlantic Way, businesses in every part of the region are reporting a very strong Easter particularly from the domestic market with revenue and customers in Q1 above 2015 levels. There has been a noticeable increase in international visitors earlier in the season this year – particularly French, German, Dutch and Swiss travellers. In the northwest, businesses are reporting strong trade from Northern Ireland in Q1 (with the favourable exchange rate a contributory factor) and there is a very high level of booking enquiries in South Kerry, which local businesses are attributing to the Star Wars effect.


Meanwhile, in the Ireland’s Ancient East region (across the south east, midlands and north east), tourism businesses are feeling much more optimistic than ever before with a significant increase in interest throughout the region from overseas travel agents. Many historic attractions throughout the region are reporting an increase in bookings – with noticeably larger groups. Accommodation providers are reporting business up for the first quarter – helped in many cases by a growth in US travellers and from the retiree market in the UK.


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