BETTER MARKETING OF Dublin as a destination for overseas visitors will help the country’s capital city to realise its full potential, increase tourism numbers, increase revenue and create thousands of jobs, the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) has said.
In a report entitled Capitalising On Dublin’s Potential prepared for the ITIC a loss of competitiveness by official and commercial stakeholders involved in the process of attracting tourists to the capital has been outlined with recommendations for how this can be improved.
While the economic downturn has seen tourism numbers to the capital fall by over a fifth between 2007 and 2010, there was a return to growth of about 7 per cent in 2011 and so far in 2012 further modest growth seems likely.
But in the report, the ITIC says that greater collaboration between public and private bodies in the capital can deliver greater growth prospects.
Most notably the report states that improvements could conceivably create 27,000 jobs by 2020 above present levels, based on a Fáilte Ireland formula that every €1 million spent by visitors creates 36 jobs.
“A 6.2 per cent a year rate of increase for the period 2011 to 2020 would produce total overseas visitor spending in 2020 of €1.8bn,” the report states but in order to hit that target it makes a number of recommendations including:
- Closer collaboration between the country’s various tourism agencies, local government, the tourism industry, and the business community
- In marketing material Dublin should not only be presented as the city itself but also the attraction of the wider Dublin county area should be emphasised.
- A Dublin region-specific brand is needed for marketing.
- A so-called Destination Marketing Alliance for Dublin or DMAD should be established which would work within Faílte Ireland and would draw on expertise from the tourism industry, local authorities and the business community.
The report says that there is no current model in other major European cities that would be ideal for Dublin but says that these cities have “structures in place to mobilise effective and sustained marketing campaigns”, seemingly unlike our own capital.
The report also details a number of trends when it comes to people visiting Dublin.
The number of overseas visitors to the capital reached its peak in 2007 when 4.5 million arrived and spent an estimated €1.5 billion.
Since then visitor numbers have dropped by one million or 22 per cent from 2007 to 2010 with a loss of revenue of about €5 billion – a drop of 30 per cent.
While the industry has recovered in the last two years – it grew by 7 per cent in 2011 and is expected to grow by 5 per cent this year – employment in the tourism industry in the capital has fallen from 70,000 in 2007 to 50,000 last year.
The report also states Dublin has 19,000 hotel rooms and a bed capacity of 43,800.
It carries a number of graphs which focus on visitor numbers from the UK and Germany.
For example, Dublin has lost nearly 40 per cent of visitors from Britain between 2005 and 2010, a significant loss of more than 500,000 annual visitors:
By contrast a similar graph shows that visitors numbers from Germany showed an upward trend up to 2008 before falling slightly in the years that followed but still comparatively remaining ahead of other cities such as London, Vienna and Barcelona: