Failte IrelandLatest barometer shows tourism confidence climbing – Our latest tourism barometer shows business sentiment within the tourism industry has increased significantly this year with strong feeling that the market has really turned the corner and the future is looking more positive. 

The survey of over 750 different tourism businesses carried out throughout September and before the recent budget announcements, shows business sentiment at a height not seen since the boom years. Additionally many sectors across the industry point to the good weather and the Gathering as having positive impacts on performance this year.

Some of the main findings of the research showed:

  • Two in three (65%) of serviced accommodation operators reported increased visitor numbers
  • For the first time since the start of the financial crisis, all three serviced accommodation sectors reported that visitor numbers are significantly up – hotels (68%), guesthouses (58%) and B&Bs (46%).
  • Expectations for the remainder of the year are high, with nine out of ten of accommodation businesses expecting the same or increased visitor volumes;
  • Attractions have performed well with eight out of ten reporting increased or similar visitor volumes as last year – almost 50% of them have welcomed more visitors;
  • While profit margins have been under pressure for some time, this year it appears that more hotels are returning to profit;
  • Over half (58%) of restaurant respondents are reporting an increase in tourist business;
  • B&B Ireland members have seen a 27% increase in revenue from North American visitors;
  • 52%  of self-catering operators reporting increased visitors;
  • Caravan and Campsites have benefitted significantly from the fine weather with two in three (67%) reporting increased visitor levels.

Commenting on the research, Shaun Quinn CEO emphasised:

“This report is a realistic snapshot of where the industry is at today and shows us that the tourism tide is very much on the turn.  Encouragingly there has been growth across all the sectors – accommodation, attractions, and restaurants – as well as feedback that the overseas market is performing well for tourism businesses – in particular North America.  For us in Fáilte Ireland, these findings are clear evidence the Gathering as well as recent government initiatives have helped to provide the jump-start we hoped they would.  In a week which has seen tourism come out strongly in the Government’s budget for 2014, we are now in a much healthier and positive place to build on this momentum.”

The Gathering

In particular the findings note the Gathering bounce has been enjoyed across the country with all regions performing well and hotels benefitting the most (with almost six out of ten all around the country citing the Gathering as a factor for increased business).
Download the full Barometer report here [pdf, 3MB]