Tourism in Ireland is on the increase and businesses are reporting a positive growth in visitor numbers from this past Summer, especially from German and US visitors. Experts are claiming that this growth is due to the Wild Atlantic Way 2500 km route, from Malin Head in County Donegal to Mizen Head in County Cork.
Restaurants in Dublin and across the country however have not being seeing the same level of growth. In its latest survey Failte Ireland found that three quarters of tourism business were positive about the future – the highest level since before 2007.
Just 8% said to have found business decreased, compared to 74% in 2009. Fáilte Ireland said the tourism recovery could be seen across the country with responses from business in the south west of Ireland, particularly strong.
In general the report found that more people are planning on taking a vacation in Ireland. Across that region 84% said trade was up, whilst 83% of operators in Dublin reported positivity in the August and September survey. The south-east of Ireland was the worst-performed area with just 68% of businesses saying that their trade had increased.
The survey found that tourism operators reported the biggest growth in visitors that are planning a trip to Ireland are from Germany and the US. Trade from UK visitors was also beginning to increase but growth in British visitors was still found to be behind the leading countries.
Businesses situated close to the Wild Atlantic Way 2,500 km route hailed its marketing as a big success, particularly in drawing Germans to the region. The drawback of this however was that businesses situated further away from this now famous route complained that they were missing out in all the attention given to the coastal stretch.
Hotels benefited from the boost in trade with 82% reporting more business in 2014 than the same time last year, however restaurants, guest houses and self-catering accommodation operators were less buoyant. Just 50% of restaurants surveyed said they had done better this year and 20% said they had found their business had decreased.
Fáilte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn said tourism was back but it had 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,” he said. “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”.