The vast majority of families in Ireland are likely to holiday at home this year, new research shows.
Some 81 per cent of people with children favour an Irish break compared to 43 per cent who said they may take to foreign shores, according to the sample survey by Millward Brown Lansdowne for Fáilte Ireland.
The tourism body has launched a major drive persuading holidaymakers to sample the delights of home through a range of family promotions and offers, available both online and through a Discover Ireland Special Offers Brochure.
Minister for Tourism Mary Hanafin said the biggest change this year in the market was the value for money on offer.
“There’s no doubt in recent years that we lost the run of ourselves. Prices were very, very high, people were able to point to better value that they were getting abroad,” the minister said.
“That’s not true this year. All of accommodation is much better value. The all-in packages are very, very good this year.
“I think the tourist industry realised that we have to step up to the plate, there’s just not as much money in circulation as there was for families. And I genuinely believe that they have done that.”
Key findings of the sample survey include:
- More than four in every five people with children under 18 are likely to holiday in Ireland with their family.
- Four in ten (43 per cent) of adults indicated they are likely to take a family holiday abroad this year instead of, or as well as, an Irish holiday – 56 per cent of people holidayed abroad last year.
Ms Hanafin also suggested the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull may help boost the home holiday market.
The Fáilte Ireland summer marketing campaign will centre around promotions and offers for families both online and through a Discover Ireland Special Offers Brochure.
Almost 700,000 copies of the brochure will appear in national newspapers this weekend with thousands more available to the public from local tourism information offices.
It contains more than 200 special offers on accommodation, attractions and restaurants. There are also 500 offer up for grabs on the website www.discoverireland.ie.
The promotion is being backed up by a radio campaign, which began this week, and will peak with an intensive two week advertising blitz beginning on June 7th specifically emphasising family breaks.
Fáilte Ireland chief executiveShaun Quinn said the range of offers reflected the determination of the industry to fight for every inch of the market.
“As our research shows, there is a very strong possibility that many more Irish families will stay at home this summer,” Mr Quinn said. “It is up to all of us in the tourism sector to do all we can to tap this potential by offering good value and a great experience. The viability of hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs depend upon it.”
Fáilte Ireland will also be running a Discover Ireland Photo Competition, kicking off on June 12th, the aim of which will be to create a snapshot of what makes holidays at home special for people.
Every week for 12 weeks holidaymakers will be encouraged to send in their best shots with the 12 winning photos ultimately appearing in a Discover Ireland Calendar in 2011.
Winners will also win a Discover Ireland getaway break to the value of €500.