“Visitor satisfaction is high, but offering good value for money is critical to convert domestic intention into domestic bookings.” – Paul Kelly, CEO
Fáilte Ireland has today (Monday 20 February) unveiled its plans for 2023, to help support the sustainable recovery of the tourism sector this year.
The plans were announced for the tourism industry at a special virtual event, watched by over 1,700 tourism operators, providers and employers from across the sector.
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Fáilte Ireland’s plans in 2023 focus on seven key areas:
- Business Recovery
- Tourism Careers
- Domestic Marketing
- Opening the Outdoors
- Industry Digitalisation
- Destination Development
- Climate Action
CEO Paul Kelly explains Fáilte Ireland’s focus, saying, “Our plans for 2023 are built around seven key pillars that we believe will lead to transformational change. These are: driving sustainable recovery at the level of individual businesses; supporting employers and employees in making tourism an attractive, long-term career; accelerating growth in domestic tourism; enhancing our outdoor tourism product and the quality of visitor experiences in destinations; building the digitalisation of the industry; and driving climate action.”
Kelly added, “The domestic market is critical for sustainable recovery and plays a key role in driving regional and seasonal spread. Looking at the domestic market, consideration for taking a domestic holiday in 2023 is at 82%, which is in line with 2019 levels, and intention to take a domestic break in the next three months is at 23%. Visitor satisfaction is high, but offering good value for money is critical, to convert this domestic intention into domestic bookings.
“A recent analysis conducted by Fáilte Ireland’s economic and industry analysis team showed the tourism sector lost €12 billion in revenue due to the pandemic. The very welcome and comprehensive package of government supports injected approximately €6 billion into the sector, to keep businesses alive, but the sector still had to manage through a huge net loss of €6 billion in revenue.”
Fáilte Ireland also unveiled details of its new Motivations Framework, which has been created using behavioural science and extensive research to understand people’s motivation for travel. Understanding what really motivates people to travel will provide tourism businesses with useful insights to help shape their offering and experiences, and inform their sales and marketing activities.
Fáilte Ireland’s head of consumer planning and insights, Jill De Azevedo, explains, “The framework adds rich context to the way we view consumers. There are many ways we can understand tourists’ habits and preferences – why they travel, why they choose their destinations, their behaviours while taking a break. For tourism businesses, understanding these motivations is important to understanding demand. As consumers and tourists, we all have multifaceted motivations for travel. Our research shows that the ‘why’ – the actual motivation – is the most important factor that influences the choice of destination and behaviour while on a break.”
In her address to welcome Fáilte Ireland’s plans, Minister Catherine Martin TD said, “The government remains committed to supporting the recovery of tourism. I welcome Fáilte Ireland’s priorities for 2023, and I look forward to seeing the results across the country of their ambitious plans. While I know hotel capacity, energy costs and labour shortages are real challenges for the industry this year, I am continuing to direct significant resources to support the sustainable recovery of the sector. In Budget 2023, I secured additional funding for the industry in the areas of marketing, skills and staffing, product development and sustainability.”
Today’s virtual launch is being followed by in-person events for the industry across nine regional locations this week.
Read CEO Paul Kelly’s opening address for the launch of Fáilte Ireland’s 2023 plans here.
Read More: Five New Board Members To Join Fáilte Ireland
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