The British market has long been Ireland’s largest source market for inbound visitors. But the wheels came off during the years 2009-12 when Ireland lost approximately 1 million British visitors. A myriad of factors were at play; deep recession in Britain, loss of competitiveness in the Irish product, unfavourable exchange rates, and a general travel malaise brought about by the uncertainties of global recession.
A comprehensive review was completed in 2012, called GB Path to Growth, and among the many recommendations was the adoption of a segmented approach to the market with Social Energisers, Culturally Curious and Great Escapers identified as prime prospects. The report confidently predicted that this new approach, if implemented, would deliver significant growth from Britain of 20% by 2016. Well it’s done that, and then some.
ITIC caught up with Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, to discuss the turn-around. Click on the image below to hear what she had to say.