Last Summer all those holiday destinations where they had the euro didn’t do quite as well as they expected. Because the pound was weak against it, we chose areas with different currencies that had not declined as much or where we felt we got better value for money. Turkey and Egypt spring to mind.
Ireland suffered despite a campaign last May/June to get us there. !5% fewer Brits went there last year, and since 50% of tourists to Ireland come from the UK, it is a vital market for them. Now that the pound has strengthened against the euro will we be more likely to visit Ireland again?
In March visitors by those living in the UK dropped by just over a fifth to just 212,000 visits. 40,000 fewer of us visited in just one month! Given that this will include visits made by people visiting friends and relatives, this could mask quite a drop. As the world pulls out of recession what could be the cause?
Is Ireland still seen as too expensive? Do Dublin city breaks no longer appeal? Does Ireland no longer appeal? Is it because fares by Ryanair, Aer Arann, British Airways and Aer Lingus are more expensive than previously? Is it due to a lack of or maybe less than effective advertising? The head of Tourism Ireland has said that it is due to the recession but aren’t people feeling more confident now? Are other countries fighting to persuade us to go there? Is the impact of Irish advertising being overtaken by that of other countries?
The numbers will look worse in April when the effects of airport closures due to the Icelandic volcanic eruption will be seen. So to still have a 20% decline before those effects are felt seems to warrant a lot of thinking. And the number of European travelers was down by about the same amount as well. Australians, Japanese, and South Africans visited in greater numbers, but then the numbers are small to start with. American visits were down just slightly. Ireland needs Britons to travel there. Have you considered going to Ireland this year and if not why? Now Tourism Ireland needs to find out and then remind us why it is such an attractive destination or it could be an uncomfortable year for tourism.