Friday 07 April 2017
Positive domestic performance boosts overall strong tourism performance in 2016
The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’ Donovan T.D., welcomed figures published today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showing that, comparing 2016 to 2015, the number of domestic holiday trips in Ireland grew by 3.7% and associated revenue by 5%. He was speaking following the release this morning of the CSO’s Household Travel Survey for the fourth quarter of 2016, which also included data for the year as a whole.
Commenting on the figures Minister O’ Donovan said: “Today’s domestic figures officially confirm what the recently released CSO overseas figures demonstrated, that 2016 was a record year for tourism in Ireland.”
Domestic tourism is a core component of tourism in this country. Over half of all domestic trips taken annually are holiday trips and Irish people take more domestic holiday trips each year than outbound holiday trips. Our domestic market, therefore, is crucial for the overall viability of the tourism industry here in Ireland. It provides an opportunity to extend the season and deliver additional business that is more regionally dispersed which not only drives increased revenues but also helps grow employment in the sector. This is having a positive economic impact in towns and villages right across the country".
“I believe that, with our tourism experience brands starting to take hold in our collective conscience, we will be able to build on this positive performance and drive further growth in domestic tourism. Ireland has so much to offer as a holiday destination – our spectacular landscapes, our quality food and accommodation offering, our warm hospitality and rich history and culture. With these wonderful assets now been packaged and promoted through the likes of the Wild Atlantic Way or Ireland's Ancient East, it is no wonder that there is a strong interest in holidaying in Ireland and discovering the treasure trove of experiences just waiting to be discovered so easily in our own country. Just last week I launched the Local Authorities Tourism Conference "Collaborate Locally to Compete Globally". I welcomed the fact that all 31 Local Authorities now have tourism Statements of Strategy and Work plans which will ensure that, together, we will continue to grow and develop our tourism offering in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.”, the Minister concluded.
Responding to today’s CSO data, the CEO of Fáilte Ireland, Paul Kelly, said: “The continued robust performance of the domestic market is both welcome and vital for the tourism sector. For many tourism businesses, domestic visitors provide the bedrock which allows them to remain open beyond the summer season and trade all year round. This is particularly important in terms of generating activity and jobs in many rural regions.
“This year, we are employing a marketing budget of over €8m of our budget which will allow us to boost the domestic breaks market – particularly to generate activity each side of summer. Fáilte Ireland believes the domestic market has a very significant role in lengthening the tourism season and spreading tourism activity throughout the country and our marketing in 2017 will seek to maximise its potential to do so.”
Fáilte Ireland’s experience brands, Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way have provided a significant contribution to current performance in the domestic market. Currently, Fáilte Ireland is running a domestic campaign for Ireland’s Ancient East across TV, print, online platforms and social media. A brand new multi-media campaign (including new TV advertising) will debut in Ireland in May for the Wild Atlantic Way next month with a particular emphasis on growing activity on the route north of Galway. Fáilte Ireland will also be promoting both brands with major autumn campaigns later in the year.