Summer 2015 was a particularly successful season for most Irish tourism businesses, boosted in part by return visitors and
favourable exchange rates, according to the findings in the latest Fáilte IrelandTourism Barometer. The Barometer is a survey of tourism businesses which seeks to gauge tourism performance for the year to date and prospects for the year ahead.
Paid serviced accommodation providers recorded an excellent year so far, with a large proportion (78%) of respondents to th
e survey reporting growth. Hotels lead the way, with around four in five (79%) reporting an increase in business, followed by 69% of guesthouses. Even the B&B sector, which has struggled in recent years, is showing very good signs of improvement, with 70% of operators saying that their business is up so far this year.
Accommodation providers were not the only ones who enjoyed a buoyant summer and the majority (79%) of tourist attractions have also seen a boost in the number of visitors welcomed through their doors so far this year – with the overseas markets even stronger - 85% registered growth in visitors from across the waters.
Similarly, there was a fair wind for two thirds (67%) of golf clubs this year who reported an increase in their overall visitor numbers. Reflecting growing consumer confidence, the Irish golf market contributed to growth with 58% of courses enjoying an increase in domestic visitors.
Restaurants also enjoyed a busy summer with 58% reporting business to be up overall. Overseas markets have really boosted trade for restaurants with 72% reporting more business from overseas tourists so far in 2015.
Repeat visitors have been driving business in 2015 and as a result this factor maintains its place as the most frequently mentioned (69%) positive factor this year. Welcoming returning business is particularly cited by large proportions of golf clubs (88%), caravan and camping operators (83%) and hotels (78%).
Furthermore, most sectors also claim to be benefiting from the strength of the dollar and sterling against the euro, which has helped to drive visitor volumes from North America and Great Britain. The exchange rate was regularly mentioned unprompted by respondents to the survey.