·         Significant boost provided by The Gathering with overseas visitors up 7.3%

·         Three quarters of hotels and guesthouses report an increase in business during 2013

·         Hoteliers more upbeat with 84% saying they have positive outlook for 2014


The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) today welcomed figures showing a 7.3% increase in overseas visitors to Ireland during the first ten months of 2013, largely on foot of an enormously successful year of The Gathering.


Tim Fenn, Chief Executive, said that the upturn in overseas visitors in 2013 has given the tourism industry a significant boost with visitor numbers directly attributable to the Gathering providing a much welcome increase in revenue, particularly from the North American market.


Today’s figures released by The Gathering Ireland 2013 are reflected in results of the IHF’s end of year barometer, which shows 73% of hoteliers reporting an increase in overall business during the year.


Looking at the prospects for 2014, the industry survey reveals a positive outlook for the next 12 months among the vast majority of hotels and guesthouses (84%) - nearly double the number who had a positive outlook this time last year (46%). 


Mr Fenn, states: “The Gathering has proved an enormous success in attracting additional overseas visitors, particularly from North America. Many of these holidaymakers travelled around the country during their stay, delivering a boost to regional tourism and local economies. We have also benefited from growth in tourism visitors from continental Europe and the UK.”


“This is an example of a targeted tourism initiative that has had a real impact, delivering an impressive return on investment with an additional €170million revenue generated for tourism businesses throughout the country.”


“In terms of competitiveness, the Government’s decision to retain the 9% VAT rate will continue to help when marketing Ireland abroad as a tourism destination. This measure, combined with increased air access through the scrapping of the air travel tax, will enable us to attract a greater share of overseas visitors in 2014 and beyond,” says Mr Fenn. “This is directly feeding into increased confidence on the ground with over 62% of hoteliers planning to increase their investment in marketing next year.”


Commenting on the continued weakness in Irish consumer sentiment, Mr Fenn said: “Despite a slight increase in Christmas trade this year, the domestic market remains a concern with business levels struggling throughout the year. Depressed consumer spending continues to put significant pressure on hotels outside of the larger urban areas and main holiday hotspots.”


Mr Fenn noted that business from the island of Ireland accounts for up 70 per cent of overall hotel demand nationally.





Eoin Quinn                                                       Dublin office: 01 6760168

Weber Shandwick                                           Mobile: 087 233 2191 / 086 817 5066


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