Regional Distribution of Tourism in Ireland

Prepared for the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation by Tourism & Leisure Partners


“To provide a framework which would guide strategic policy and tactical actions to achieve a good measurement of tourism distribution flows within the country.”
Approach Taken (Terms of Reference)

The specific terms of reference included:

  • Assessment of regional performance trends and distribution of growth;
    Access and regional performance;
  • Analyses traffic patterns of tourists accessing through different gateways – impact on regional distribution;
  • Examination of relationship between regional distribution patterns and patterns of product development;
  • Details of existing growth trends and whether they are likely to continue into the future.

The approach followed by the consultants included:

  • Review original analysis of available statistical and survey data;
  • Consultations with a cross section of the tourist industry in Ireland and abroad;
  • Analysis of tour operator programmes and other sources of product/ market presentations;
  • Review published material on international market trends and performances.


The report examines Ireland’s performance in the context of changing trends and demand, the Country’s product and the supply of access transportation. It contains a detailed analysis of the changes and patterns of distribution of overseas holiday visitors as measured by bednights spent in each region and presents a series of conclusions as to why changes have occurred. A number of recommendations are proposed in Section 5 of this report.

The report makes a number of recommendations under the headings Transport, Product and Marketing.

Following a special meeting of ITIC members held in late 1995 at which the industry representatives expressed a concern at the uneven distribution of growth across the Country, this report was commissioned. The report represents the first effort to specifically examine the issue of regional distribution and tourism flows and its aim was to influence investment strategies for marketing product development which would influence a more even distribution of visitors.

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