The Gathering 2013 Provides an Enormous Opportunity to Re-Energise Irish Tourism

  • Worrying 8.9 per cent drop in British visitors
  • Poor tourism performance outside key urban areas
  • IHF welcomes launch of a €2m IPG Gathering Fund

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) today expressed its concern over the 2.9% per cent drop in overseas visitors to Ireland during the period July to Sept 2012* compared with the same period last year. Commenting on the 8.9 per cent drop from the British market, Tim Fenn, Chief Executive of the IHF stated this poor performance was particularly worrying and underscored the need to restore growth in tourism from this core market as outlined in a recent report by the Tourism Recovery Taskforce (’GB Path to Growth’).

"While business levels have increased in key urban areas over the summer months, performance has been poor for hotels and guesthouses across many parts of the country." states Mr Fenn. "This is disappointing given the very low visitor base we're working off at 30 per cent less than the 2007 peak."

Highlighting the tremendous value in hotels and guesthouses throughout the country, Mr Fenn states that a key challenge remains in getting Ireland's marketing message right and giving holidaymakers new reasons to visit Ireland. He states: "An excellent example of the type of initiative that works was the recent Emerald Isle Classic American football game hosted in Dublin in September. This saw thousands of Americans travel to Ireland, contributing to a 3.6% increase in visitors from North America."

Commenting on the outlook for 2013, Mr Fenn stated that The Gathering next year provides an enormous opportunity to re-energise Irish tourism and showcase the tremendous range of attractions and cultural activities that Ireland has to offer. Welcoming in particular the launch of a €2m IPG Gathering Fund, Mrr Fenn congratulated IPG Insurance on their commitment to the initiative and stated that, working with the Government, corporate Ireland will have a power role to play in ensuring The Gathering is a success.

"By placing tourism at the heart of its growth strategy, the Government clearly recognises the sector's potential to act as a driver of economic growth and job creation," states Mr Fenn. "This is borne out by the energy and commitment it has shown in galvanising business and the tourism industry behind The Gathering." 

Eoin Quinn/Siobhan Molloy  Tel: +353 (01) 676 01 68
Weber Shandwick               Mob: +353 (0) 87 233 2191 or +353 (0) 86 817 5066

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