Visa-Free Travel Drives Increase In UAE Visitors To Ireland
Since the announcement of visa-free travel for UAE citizens journeying to Ireland in early 2018, Middle East travel company dnata Travel has experienced a 63.5% increase in year-on-year travel from the UAE to Ireland.
A new report for 2018, compiled by dnata Travel, shows a 55% increase in travel arrangements to Ireland made within 14 days in advance of travelling and a 9% increase in bookings made within three days of travel. In addition, the report reveals a 9% increase in solo travellers, with bednights and average booking spend also experiencing a year-on-year growth.
"Important Emerging Market"
Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons commented, "The introduction of visa-free travel from the UAE to Ireland was an historic step for Ireland-Emirati relations, helping to grow tourism from this important emerging market. We’re delighted that dnata Travel has experienced an increase in business to Ireland since visa-free travel was introduced, with more of their clients than ever before having the opportunity to experience our diverse and rich landscape, warm welcome and vibrant culture. dnata Travel is a key partner for Tourism Ireland in the UAE and we look forward to working with them again in 2019 and welcoming even more of their clients to Ireland."
"The Perfect Setting Year-Round"
Meanwhile, Antonio Fellino, vice president of retail & e-commerce for dnata Travel, stated, "With a combination of stark landscape differences and striking cultural similarities, Ireland is becoming a hotspot for UAE travellers. Ireland provides the perfect setting year-round for those looking to escape the desert heat to experience the lush green landscapes of the island. A truly family-focused destination, Ireland is popular with families and also couples, with 59% of travellers with us booking in pairs."
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.