In some good news for Tourism in Ireland, the number of tourists that visited the country in the second quarter 2011, there was a 15% increase in comparison to 2010.
The high profile visits of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and US President Barack Obama have really helped paint Ireland in a positive light.
Without a doubt, the presence of Ireland as a popular holiday destination suffered during the years of the ‘Celtic Tiger’. Tourists on a budget were ultimately put off by the presence of high prices and poor value for money in some parts of the travel experience in Ireland.
Then came the financial crash and the political fall out, which put Ireland at the forefront of the world’s media for all of the wrong reasons from 2008 and through to the EU/IMF Bailout of November 2010.
The second quarter figures show that there is recovery on the horizon, with UK and US visitors on the up, and the positive images from the UK and US State Visits certainly helped spark off more overseas interest in Ireland.
It has to be said that any increase in tourist numbers has to take into account that the Iceland Volcano affected European tourism numbers for the 2nd quarter 2010.
In the past few months, the government of Ireland has tried to stimulate economic growth by reducing Value Added Tax on restaurants and hotel establishments so as to boost Irish Tourism.
In addition, the government brought in a brand new Visa Waive Scheme, which aims to captalize on emergent markets like Japan, India and China, and inform such markets that there is no need to apply for a Travel Visa if visiting Ireland from the UK.
The tourist sector is Ireland’s most important home grown industry. Collectively it adds nearly 5% of Gross National Product and sustains over 200,000 jobs. Overseas tourism will greatly aid the economic recovery of Ireland as an exporting industry.
What are your thoughts on the recovery of Irish tourism? Is there more value for money now in tourism businesses? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below. Thank You.