The CEO of Ireland's Blue Book, Michelle Maguire, has said that Ireland's luxury hotel sector is currently benefitting from domestic tourism, but that it cannot rely on domestic tourism alone to sustain business in the long term.
Speaking to The Sunday Independent, Maguire said, "In normal times, a lot of our business is from overseas. If you go west of the Shannon, for example, some of the houses in Clare in the summer, it would be about 70% American business normally. On the east coast, it would be about domestic or British customers."
Ireland's Blue Book collection consists of 56 country house hotels, historic houses, castles and restaurants located around the island of Ireland.
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Maguire continued, "We are a small country. It's very hard to sustain our tourism industry just on our domestic market. The numbers just wouldn't be there in the long term. So we'll get through this summer because obviously people are not going overseas at the moment, they are taking their holiday at home. But that's an anomaly that I imagine won't continue.
"We've had September 11, a volcano going off in Iceland, you know. But this is huge. Unlike other times where you might have one market impacted, like with Brexit our British market is affected, this is obviously the entire market. However, we have colleagues who are in other countries where there is no domestic tourism, so we're very lucky to have it."
Slow Return For The Overseas Market
Maguire stated that there will be a very slow return for the overseas market due to "the lead time" on a lot of trips from the likes of the US and Australia being "nearly two years", and added that she believes that a major overseas marketing campaign will be needed to attract overseas tourists back to Ireland when it is safe to do so, saying, "It will require a lot of funds to promote Ireland overseas when the time is right. We're competing against a lot of countries around the world so we've got to be out there fighting."
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