After the bumper 2015 for tourism in Ireland, the hospitality industry looks set for another positive return in 2016 with three quarters of tourist businesses currently reporting an increase in growth for the first quarter of the year.
According to the latest Fáilte Ireland Tourism Barometer, which is used to gauge tourism performance each year as well as analysing prospects for the year ahead, 71% of paid serviced accommodation providers are reporting growth, with hotels being the strongest performers due to an "improved domestic economy". Some 63% of guesthouses and 67% hostels have also started strongly in the first quarter, thanks to a big increase in overseas visitors.
Fáilte Ireland reiterated that initiatives like The Wild Atlantic Way have attracted much attention, resulting in businesses along the west coast being very optimistic in maintaining the best start in tourism for almost a decade.
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Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn commented: "An early Easter coupled with St Patrick’s Day celebrations made for a busy first quarter for most tourism businesses with increased trade from overseas markets like mainland Europe and the United States of America. This bodes well for a good summer season".
Quinn added that, "There is a need for caution to avoid any complacency. Fáilte Ireland will continue to develop our new destination brands – the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Dublin: A Breath of Fresh Air – to ensure that Ireland remains an attractive and compelling place to visit."