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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Staycations have jumped by 20pc as Irish opt to stay home

Published 11/08/2016 | 02:30

Kilkenny girl Eva Phelan was protected from the rain in the Market Cross Shopping Centre
yesterday as artist Michael Browne has a colourful display of umbrellas hanging throughout
the centre. The display has been getting a great reaction during the Kilkenny Arts Festival. Many suggestions have been made that the display should be left up all year round. Photo: Pat Moore
Kilkenny girl Eva Phelan was protected from the rain in the Market Cross Shopping Centre yesterday as artist Michael Browne has a colourful display of umbrellas hanging throughout the centre. The display has been getting a great reaction during the Kilkenny Arts Festival. Many suggestions have been made that the display should be left up all year round. Photo: Pat Moore

"Staycations' have increased by 20pc, according to new figures by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

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Irish families are choosing to visit the likes of Wexford, Donegal and Athlone for their annual summer holidays.

Figures released by the CSO yesterday show families took almost 2.1 million domestic trips in the first three months of the year - compared with more than 1.5 million outbound trips.

"Significantly, the revisions demonstrate that in fact about 20pc more domestic trips are taken each year than was previously estimated," the CSO said.

According to Fáilte Ireland, destinations for 'Staycations' are not just confined to Dublin.

Spokeswoman Louise Tolertan said visitor numbers were impressive for the likes of Athlone, Donegal, Wexford and the Aran Islands. The CSO figures also showed a 13pc increase on the same figures last year.

However, Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons said his organisation was examining the impact of 'Brexit' very closely.

"Although it is still too soon to fully understand the long-term implications for tourism to the island of Ireland, we know that economic uncertainty can cause consumers to be more cautious with their discretionary spend, including holidays. Recent currency movements also mean that holidays in the eurozone are about 10pc more expensive for British travellers," he said,

"However, the British market will remain of significant importance for all of us in the short, medium and long-term. Tourism Ireland has committed to continued monitoring of developments over the coming months.

"But, for now, it is very much business as usual. We will shortly launch an extensive global autumn campaign, which will include an extensive programme of promotions in Britain, to boost business in the shoulder and off-peak season."

Shane Ross, the minister with responsibility for tourism, welcomed the growth figures.

"The very strong growth in overseas visits to Ireland during the first half of 2016 is welcome news for all of us, and especially for communities across the country where tourism is a mainstay of the local economy and an important source of employment," he said.

"The quality of our overseas marketing has helped to ensure that interest in visiting Ireland remains high among potential visitors in our top source markets, and continued investment by Government in tourism developments like the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland's Ancient East and Dublin - A Breath of Fresh Air is helping to capture the imagination of potential visitors across the world and to keep Ireland in the international spotlight."

Irish Independent

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