Minister Paschal Donohoe And Tourism Ireland Unveil New Strategies To Boost Tourism From Spain And Italy

Published on : Tuesday, February 9, 2016

turSpain and Italy offer significant potential for Irish tourism, according to two new Tourism Ireland strategies launched today by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD.

The strategies set out challenging and ambitious targets which will see the island of Ireland welcome almost 3.8 million Spanish and Italian visitors between now and 2020 – 825,000 visitors per year from both countries by 2020 – representing growth of +25%.

Key factors working in our favour to enable growth from Spain include:

  • recent strong performance: since 2000, visitors from Spain to Ireland have tripled. Spain is now the fifth most important market for Irish tourism in terms of visitor numbers and the sixth most important in terms of revenue;
  • strong air connectivity between Spain and Ireland;
  • interest in visiting Ireland is high among Spaniards;
  • more than 20% of all Spanish visitors to Ireland visit in the off-season or Q4 – a real opportunity for Irish tourism operators to win business at a time when there is capacity in accommodation and other tourism facilities; and
  • approximately 98% of Spanish visitors to Ireland are independent travellers, with around 95% booking part of their trip online. Spaniards are also heavy users of social and digital media and are hugely influenced by word of mouth.


Key factors working in our favour to enable growth from Italy over the next four years include:

  • direct air access to Ireland is strong;
  • interest in visiting Ireland is high among our ‘culturally curious’ audience;
  • over half of all Italian visitors to Ireland come specifically for holidays; and
  • Italian visitors are among our higher-spending and longer-staying visitors (they stay an average of ten nights).

Minister Donohoe said: “We have seen five consecutive years of growth in overseas visitor numbers to Ireland culminating in a record year in 2015, with more than 8.6 million visits recorded. Despite this, we remain ambitious for even further growth in the Irish tourism sector in the years ahead. The Government’s Tourism Policy Statement which we launched last year and the Tourism Action Plan, which I published in recent weeks, set out the key policy measures and related actions to ensure that tourism will continue to grow in a sustainable manner right up to 2025. The Spanish and Italian strategies which are being launched today show how visitors from these markets will play a key part in achieving our growth targets.”

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Spain and Italy have performed extremely well for tourism to the island of Ireland in recent years and the future is undoubtedly bright. We believe that both are markets of considerable potential for Irish tourism over the coming years. However, we certainly don’t take the performance for granted; we need to adapt and respond to new opportunities to ensure that success continues. I am confident that our new, focused strategies will deliver on the challenging targets we have set for growth in Spanish and Italian visitors, between now and 2020.”

The Tourism Ireland strategies have been developed in close co-operation with a wide range of industry partners, at home and in Spain and Italy. They have identified the opportunities which will drive accelerated growth from both countries to the island of Ireland over the coming four years.

Source:- Tourism Ireland

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