"Tourism is back" as sentiment soars to highest levels since Celtic Tiger
74pc of Irish tourism businesses are upbeat about 2014, a new Fáilte Ireland survey reveals.
The Irish tourism industry is recovering strongly, with most businesses optimistic about the future after "a busy and profitable summer", according to a new Fáilte Ireland survey.
The Tourism Barometer survey, published today, reveals that almost three quarters (74pc) of tourism businesses are upbeat about their 2014 business performance following a strong summer season.
It records business sentiment at a level not seen since the boom.
The South West, in particular, has enjoyed an "exceptional performance so far this year", Fáilte Ireland says, with 84pc of respondents reporting business to be up on 2013.
Many respondents in that region cited the Wild Atlantic Way as a positive factor.
A strong majority (79pc) of accommodation providers reported an increase in visitor volumes so far this year, compared to the same period last year.
Hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs were all up.
The results come on foot of a recent Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) barometer that also found hotels and guesthouses optimistic about the outlook for Irish tourism, with 87pc reporting increased business levels this year.
Dublin continues to perform strongly and the Shannon region, where improvements at the local airport are mentioned as a positive factor, is also recording robust growth.
Commenting on today’s research, Shaun Quinn CEO of Fáilte Ireland said:
“For now, tourism is back but this has been a very hard won recovery. It has taken a mixture of sacrifice and innovation by many operators – as well as far-sighted Government support for the sector - to make Ireland a competitive destination again. Fáilte Ireland initiatives such as ‘The Gathering’ and ‘The Wild Atlantic way’ have also strengthened our hand as we pitch for visitors from overseas.”
“The danger now for tourism would be to allow complacency to creep back in. To sustain this year’s growth, we need to remain competitive, build on our appeal and continue to aggressively target those segments of our markets with the most potential”.