14% rise in bednights from overseas markets is welcome – Varadkar

A 14% rise in hotel bednights from overseas visitors between January and July is welcome news and reflects how the Irish hotel sector has regained much of its competitiveness, according to Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar.


Speaking following a successful tourism trade mission to the US and Canada, Minister Varadkar said the preliminary results from Fáilte Ireland’s hotel survey for January to July 2012 show a 14% increase in the number of hotel bednights generated by overseas visitors.


“With the international economic climate so unsettled, Ireland has had to go that extra mile to promote its tourism industry. The hotel sector deserves a lot of credit for improving its competiveness and giving greater value for money, which is reflected in repeated surveys by international booking engines. These preliminary figures from Fáilte Ireland showing a rise in overseas bednights suggest that the hard work from the hotels sector is paying off,” Minister Varadkar said.


“The fact that Ireland is now better value for money will be hugely important next year when we stage the Gathering Ireland 2013, a year-long festival of festivals and community-based events. I’m pleased to report that there is huge interest in the Gathering in the US and Canada, and I’m confident that the Gathering will fulfil its promise,” he added.


Minister Varadkar was speaking at the end of his north American tourism trade mission, which has involved launches of the Gathering Ireland 2013 in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Toronto. He met with tour operators, key business leaders, and Irish community leaders, as well as promoting the Gathering on US and Canadian media. Minister Varadkar also represented the Government at the opening of the Great Hunger Museum in Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.


The preliminary figures from the Fáilte Ireland survey show a 14% increase in hotel bednights from overseas visitors between January and July 2012. This is a good preliminary indication of business on the ground and focuses on how a major employer in the tourism sector is actually doing in contrast to broader measures of the numbers of arrivals. There’s a particularly strong showing for business from north America (+29%). However, the numbers of bednights for visitors from Great Britain declined slightly (-3%) in line with falling market sentiment in Britain, and reflects the fall in visit numbers from this market.


Preliminary Data for Overseas Bednights from Failte Ireland’s Hotel Survey January-July 2012 (percentage increase/decrease compared to bednights for the same period in 2011)


North America +29%
Britain -3%
Mainland Europe +15%
Other areas +30%
Total +14%

Date: 2. 10. 2012