Demand For B&B Ireland Bookings Up 15% in 2016
Demand for B&B Ireland bookings rose 15% last year, with the number of overseas visitors choosing an Irish B&B home stay also up by the same figure.
B&B Ireland, the leading body representing the sector, added that they are optimistic about greater growth in 2017, particularly if they can supply the demand for B&B accommodation in key areas.
Chief Executive Helena Healy said they are "excited, yet cautiously optimistic, about B&B tourism in 2017". Commenting on the results, Healy attributed the phenomenal success of 2016 to a combination of factors.
"The introduction of new airline routes – such as Dublin to LA and Vancouver, Cork to Madrid and Dusseldorf and Knock to Birmingham – has been a big factor in the visitor growth. These include our main markets because of the continuing popularity of the B&B product among overseas visitors – who represent over 90% of our bookings."
"As Ireland’s leading B&B representative body, we work with over 100 tourism & travel trade partners - such as ferry lines and tour operators - to promote the B&B product at home and abroad, in addition to our dedicated website bandbireland.com. This creates a unique channel of business for B&B owners. For example, Germany is one of the top four markets for tourism to the island of Ireland, and some 50% of German people book their holidays through a travel agent or tour operator – so trade arrangements like those we have in Germany and other overseas destinations are important for B&B Ireland to reach and influence prospective visitors."
Ms Healy says demand for B&B Ireland accommodation exceeds supply in key areas such as Galway, Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Clare, Donegal, Antrim and Kilkenny, "and we would encourage B&B owners to take advantage of our booking platform. We have favourable commission rates and lower cancellation rates, and our visitors tend to stay longer. This is on top of our close relationship with tour operators and travel agencies in top markets".