Irish travel tech companies thriving, says new report

Study highlights an active scene with some 100 companies operating in the sector

Airlines, hotels and travel sellers are increasingly looking to Irish travel tech companies to build out their ancillary product strategies and boost profits, according to a new study.

The study, conducted on behalf of Enterprise Ireland, suggests that the Republic of Ireland is "a hotbed of travel tech", with some 100 companies active across the sector.

The State agency's report highlights the strong performance of Irish travel tech companies, such as CarTrawler, Boxever, Hostelworld, Datalex, OpenJaw, LikeWhere, Coras, Planitas, Mobility Mojo and Revanista.

“Ireland is really a hub for travel technology companies of all different sizes, many of which have become market leaders and have gone on to foster even more start-ups,” said Máire P Walsh, senior vice president of digital technologies for Enterprise Ireland.



According to Enterprise Ireland’s figures, travel tech companies that it supports had combined international sales of close to €500 million in 2018.

The agency’s study says that having created related industries like aircraft leasing and duty-free shopping, the Republic’s “uniquely concentrated and collaborative ecosystem” is thriving with over 100 travel tech companies, spanning start-ups to global giants. These companies collectively employ more than 3,500 people in the Republic.

“There is a huge level of expertise in the Irish travel sector and this has led to the birth of many exciting companies who are thriving globally,” said Ms Walsh.

"The likes of CarTrawler, Datalex and Boxever have had a big impact on the local scene. Bigger international companies like Airbnb, Tripadvisor and Travelport, who have operations in Ireland, have also helped contribute to what is a thriving community," she added.

Enterprise Ireland will be hosting its annual Travel Tech Summit in Westport later this year. The conference, which first ran two years ago, sees senior executives in the industry gather to share their insights and to meet start-ups in the sector.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist