It’s a good time to own a hotel in Ireland with a huge increase in the number of tourists visiting the country. In 2014 the average occupancy rate of hotels in Ireland stood at 64%, now 12 months later that has risen to 70% a significant rise. Tourism has become increasingly important to the Irish economy, with more than 7 billion euros raised last year from an extra 800,000 visitors.
There has been some variation of the demographics of visitors to Ireland. Tourists from North America have risen 13% in the last 12 months while there are now 14% more visitors from mainland Europe – up to 2.84 million in 2014. The biggest market though remains the UK where growth has been steady with an increase of 8%, over 3 million visitors came from the mainland UK. In fact the upturn in Irish tourism has been pretty much across the board and mirrored in the general strengthening of the Irish tourism industry.
Tourism in Ireland has helped strengthen the Irish economy after the difficult times of the last few years. It is estimated that over 30,000 new jobs have been created since 2011 in the tourism and hotel sector. Tourism not supports over 200,000 jobs which is over 10% of the Irish employment sector.
It is unsure what specific reasons have increased the Irish tourism industry but it is probably the result of a series of events. There has certainly been an increase in marketing efforts particularly targeted at Ireland’s traditional tourist markets. Research has shown that one of the significant factors is a perception of ‘value for money’. Irish tourism has developed it’s brand and now is perceived as a good value tourist destination – Irish hotels for instance are among the most competitively priced in Europe.
Ireland has continued to develop it’s tourist attractions, many of which you can see covered on the Irish media. There was an interesting report on the newly launched Ancient East trail which you can watch TV3 online. Other attractions such as the Wild Atlantic Way have also been a great success which have been developed in line with the Irish Tourism boards long term marketing strategy,
Remember if you’re on holiday there and are missing UK television all is not lost, you can actually access your home stations using this technique – BBC iPlayer Ireland, it basically involves hiding your real location by using a proxy or VPN server. This defeats the IP address check and makes it looks like you’re in the UK.