IRELAND’S TOURISM INDUSTRY is in a “fragile state”, with hoteliers across the country struggling to cope with a ‘two speed’ recovery, the chief executive of the Irish Hotels Federation has said.
Tim Fenn said that attracting more British visitors is a priority this year, as the market had experienced a cumulative drop of 26 per cent in tourists since 2007 – amounting to a fall-off of one million visitors from our nearest neighbour. And, although improvements in occupancy levels across Dublin, the West and South West were noted last year, this was contrasted with disappointing figures throughout the rest of the country.
Fenn said that Ireland needed “innovation and creative thinking from tourism bodies” to encourage more visitors to return – as well as campaigns specifically focused on attracting a greater spread of visitors to the regions.
Fáilte Ireland has set a target of increasing tourist numbers by 7 per cent in the coming year – and annual events such as St Patrick’s Day are expected to continue to attract visitors.
We’d like to know what you think – are Ireland’s tourism bodies doing enough to attract visitors?