Latest Fáilte Ireland Survey Shows Tourism Businesses Anticipating a Busy and Profitable Summer Season.
Almost three quarters (74%) of tourism businesses are anticipating an increase in business in the year ahead according to the latest Fáilte Ireland Tourism Barometer which was published recently.
The survey of tourism businesses, carried out in April and May, records business sentiment at a height not seen since the Celtic Tiger years.
The high level of optimism about the performance of the rest of the year is prevalent round the country with all sectors of tourism expecting an increase in visitor volumes on 2013. Hotels are particularly bullish with 80% expecting an increase in business.
Speaking about the year ahead in an appearance this morning before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications, Shaun Quinn CEO of Fáilte Ireland commented on the rising sentiment:
“This optimism is firmly rooted in improved facts on the ground. For example, the majority of accommodation operators are reporting an increase in visitor volumes so far this year, compared to the same period last year. Of these, hotels remain the strongest sector, with more than two thirds of respondents reporting an increase.
“The industry members we work with are not only forecasting further growth from European and American markets but are also telling us that they detect growing confidence in the British and Home holiday markets also. This is incredibly encouraging and, if this translates into additional breaks and travel from those parts, we could be in for a bumper season this year.”
Other points to note from the survey include:
The majority (62%) of serviced accommodation providers report an increase in visitor volumes so far this year, compared to the same period last year;
The accommodation sector in Dublin performed very well last year, with last year’s strong growth continuing into the first part of 2014 and 77% of respondents in Dublin reporting an increase on the same period last year;
Outside the capital, across the rest of Ireland, business is also on the up with the south of Ireland performing particularly well so far this year, with two thirds of respondents from both the South East (66%) and South West (65%) reporting increases;
Hotels remain the strongest sector, with 69% of respondents reporting an increase;
For the accommodation sector, the domestic market is expected to show significant growth for the remainder of the year, with 67% of respondents expecting an increase in visitors from Ireland;
Compared to this time last year, the average room yield of hotels is looking much stronger with two thirds (66%) of respondents reporting their average room yield to be up (a good increase on 2013 when only 42% of respondents reported an increase);
Profitability has also moved upwards in 2014 with more than half (54%) of hotels reporting an increase (compared to 48% last year);
Two thirds (67%) of responding restaurants expect their visitor volume to be up in 2014, compared to 2013.
Noting the generally positive trends in today’s report, Mr Quinn noted:
“We share the optimism currently pervading the tourism industry but we are not complacent. Fáilte Ireland is doing those things which we believe will further grow visitor numbers and we are confident that if the sector continues to maintain the current balance of quality and value which it provides that we can sustain further growth.
“Tourism can provide economic growth, revenue and jobs with a spatial and regional spread unlike most other sectors. It provides employment in areas where many sectors can’t. What is good for tourism is good for Ireland and we will be doing our best to ensure that things get even better”.