Our Visitors are still impressed

With so much depressing talk about volcanic ash, stranded visitors, economic uncertainty, and so on, it was nice to get some good news this week.

Fáilte Ireland published its 2009 Visitor Attitudes Survey and it has lots of encouraging news.

The reasons for visiting Ireland remain largely unchanged with 9 out of 10 continuing to cite the friendliness of the people and the beauty of the landscape, as being the top most important motivations. 83% are assured by the level of safety and security here, 82% like the fact that there are plenty of things to do and see in Ireland, while 80% say that our natural and unspoilt environment are important attractors.

The internet continues to be the top source of information when visitors are planning their holiday at 67% (74% in North America, 63% in Britain, 64% in Continental Europe).

Were visitors satisfied with their Irish holiday? A resounding 9 out of 10 said that Ireland matched or exceeded their expectations. When asked why, 44% said it was the people, and 41% said it was the scenery.

And would they come back? More than half (52%) said they would definitely be returning to Ireland.

Perhaps even more importantly 83% said they would unreservedly recommend Ireland as a destination to friends or family. This is the highest percentage over the last 5 years.

Finally, when asked what they considered Ireland’s unique advantage over other countries, all nationalities cited the Irish people as the top factor that marks Ireland out as a destination to visit above other destinations. Other factors mentioned were:

Scenery 27%
Culture & History 15%
English speaking 10%
Restful & relaxing 7%
Unspoilt environment 7%
Drinking & pubs 7%

The survey results clearly confirm that our people remain truly our greatest asset, particularly for British and North American holidaymakers.

Another snippet of encouraging news from the survey is that our roads and signposting are disappearing off the radar as particular problems.

So in a week when the dystopians appeared to have taken over the airwaves and the press, it’s nice to hear some good news. And it’s a great credit to the Irish tourism industry to have scored so well with our visitors in one of the toughest years ever. Stand up and take a bow!

And to cap it all, the wind is about to change direction and send all that ash away. Oh happy daze!

Make your own day now, and go to the full Fáilte Ireland survey of visitors 2009 by CLICKING HERE.

If you would like to comment on anything you’ve read here, leave a comment below.

April 22nd 2010

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