Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Facts 2016 – Key Figures Infographic

On June 20th, 2017, Fáilte Ireland published its preliminary Tourism Facts 2016, a report which compiles research into tourism performance in Ireland in 2016 and condenses it into key facts and figures. We’ve identified the most significant statistics and collated them into an infographic, below –

 

Irish Tourism Facts 2016 (1)

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Northern Irish gems – 10 top things to see on a trip to Belfast.

1. Go back in time with a visit to the moving Titanic Museum.
Stunning architecture, and a museum which houses the world’s largest display of Titanic memorabilia.

2. Walk in the footsteps of TV stars from Game of Thrones on the Game of Thrones tour!
http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/gameofthrones/

3. Discover one of the best beaches in the world. Murlough’s wide, flat 6km long sandy beach is a 50 min drive from the city.

It’s backed by an ancient sand dune system and is an excellent area for walking and bird watching due to its spectacular location at the edge of the Mourne Mountains.

4. Get cosy in the Crown Liquor Saloon. Don’t miss this Victorian pub in Great Victoria Street.
It was once a Victorian Gin palace but today offers great beer and pub food. It also has stunning stained glass windows, wooden booths and a great atmosphere. A historic gem.

http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/Crown-Liquor-Saloon-Belfast-P4586

Giant's Causeway

5. See a show at the Waterfront Hall Conference and Concert Centre.
The impressive, circular building, nestling on the water front was built in 1997 and has been a Belfast favourite ever since.
See the opera La Traviata there in April, or groove with 80’s band Hot Chocolate, plus The Three Degrees in May.

6. Tuck into soda bread. It’s an Irish speciality.
TV celebrity chef Paul Rankin helped make it popular, and you can buy it everywhere in Belfast.

7. Walk the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim.
The amazing hexagonal-shaped columns of rock were formed from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago and it’s the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland.
Four stunning trails to walk and an easy drive from Belfast. Park at Bushmills village and, from now until October, use the ‘park and ride’ service.

http://www.ireland.com/en-gb/amazing-places/giants-causeway?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Icons_Exact

8. Go whiskey-tasting at The Old Bushmills Distillery, on the coast road, not far from the Giant’s Causeway.
It’s been lovingly made here since 1608 and you’ll find it on Distillery Road.

9. Chill out and find a great buy at the Sunday craft and vintage stall at St George’s Market, Belfast.

10. Stay and play with a golf break at Hilton Belfast Templepatick Golf & Country Club.
It’s home to one of the finest parkland courses in Ireland and the Ulster PGA Championship has been hosted here six times.
It’s an ideal base to discover why Northern Ireland is the home of golfing champions.

 

Source

Four Irish hotels named among Europe’s Top 10 resorts

Last Week the country featured on Lonely Planet’s Top 10 to visit in 2015.

Now comes the news that readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine have named four Irish hotels among their Top 10 European Resorts.

Sheen Falls Lodge tops the list at No.1, with Ashford Castle ranked second, the K Club fourth and Adare Manor rounding off the Irish showing in tenth place.

The Top 10 Resorts in Europe is as follows:

Sheen Falls Lodge, Co. Kerry
Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo
Blue Palace Resort, Crete
Kildare Hotel at the K Club, Co. Kildare
The Gleneagles hotel, Scotland
Badrutt’s Palace, Switzerland
Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, Switzerland
Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy
Old Course Hotel, Scotland
Adare Manor, Co. Limerick
Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards are published annually, and this year featured over one million votes from almost 77,000 readers. Several lists of best cities, islands, hotels, resorts and cruise lines are drawn up from the results.

Sheen Falls Lodge, which overlooks the picturesque Sheen Waterfalls, also ranks 82nd on the global list of Top 100 Hotels & Resorts.

“We are extremely honoured to be named the number one resort in Europe and to be one of four hotels from the UK and Ireland in the Top 100 hotels and resorts in the world,” said Patrick Hanley, General Manager, Sheen Falls Lodge.

“A special thank you must be extended to the team here who dedicate themselves and make an exceptional effort to ensure all guests have a pleasant and memorable stay.”

The Kenmare five-star is commended by readers for its “first-class service” and “very pretty views”, according to the magazine. Its “very high-quality design” also merits a mention.

The Cong, Co. Mayo five-star has “beautiful grounds, fantastic recreational activities” and “outstanding service”, according to readers.

Formerly the Guinness family home, the hotel’s guest rooms come with high ceilings and four-poster beds, the magazine points out, “though they can be tired looking.”

The five-star is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment programme.

Connemara’s Ballynahinch Castle also features, ranking 23rd of 25 Top Hotels in Europe.

“The setting is something out of a fairy-tale book – lush greenery, lake, silence,” readers report. “It’s just gorgeous, like a rich uncle’s country estate.”

The Condé Nast citations cap an extraordinary run of international recognition for Irish destinations and hotels overseas. In addition to Lonely Planet’s Top 10, Enniskillen’s Lough Erne resort recently topped the Huffington Post’s “Best Hotels for Winter 2014/15” round-up.

The full list of Readers’ Choice Awards winners can be accessed here.

Source

Lonely Planet Declares Ireland Best in Travel 2015

 

 

Ireland in Top Destinations for Travel in 2015

Lonely Planet

It’s official! Lonely Planet has named Ireland as one of the Top 10 countries to visit in 2015. And who would argue with them? diverse landscapes are stunning, cities bustling and attractions unique and abundant.

WILD ATLANTIC WAY

It’s a rival to California’s Pacific Coast Highway and Australia’s Great Ocean Road

 

THE PEOPLE

The people themselves are inevitably at the heart of the best the country has to offer

CULTURE

Ireland’s traditions are firmly intact and the cosmopolitan people are as welcoming as their forebears were known to be

FESTIVALS

Fireworks, gigs and parades for the kids

Sources: Lonely Planet &  Tourism Ireland

Ireland set for “best tourism season since downturn”

Powerscourt House
Powerscourt House

Trips to Ireland by overseas visitors are up 10.3% for the first half of 2014, according to CSO figures released today.

The figures show a steady gain compared to the same period in 2013, with over 3,469,100 overseas visitors recorded by the Central Statistics Office between January and June (inclusive).

The latest figures on Overseas Travel show:

Visits from Mainland Europe grew by 6pc, to over 1,218,100 visits
North America registered an increase of 10.6pc (over 574,500 visits)
Visits from Great Britain were up by 13.6pc (1,473,200 visits)
Visits from the rest of the world were up 13.6pc over 203,300 visits
Growth from Britain will be seen as particularly good news. The UK is Ireland’s single most important inbound tourism market, and figures had fallen off drastically in recent years.

 

Fáilte Ireland CEO, Shaun Quinn, said:

“The increase in numbers from the UK is extremely impressive and the performance of our biggest overseas market is exceeding all expectations. All our other key markets are also delivering extra visitors; tourism businesses around the country are upbeat and we seem set for our best tourism season since the downturn began.”

 

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, added:

“We are undertaking an extensive programme of promotions around the world throughout 2014 which includes a major focus on the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as on major events like Limerick City of Culture and the Croke Park Classic, when the University of Central Florida takes on Penn State in their college football season opener, on August 30th.”

 

Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe commented that the figures showed “Irish tourism is having, yet again, another excellent year.”

“Last year was the year of the Gathering and the challenge was to grow visitor numbers even further in 2014… [the figures are] excellent news for everybody involved in Irish tourism and reflect the hard work carried out by Government and all those involved in the tourism industry and in promoting Ireland overseas.”

Minister Donohue, new to his role following the recent cabinet reshuffle, is finalising a new Tourism Policy Statement which will set “ambitious targets” for the sector in the period to 2025.

It will be released later this year.

Source: http://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/ireland-set-for-best-tourism-season-since-downturn-as-visitor-figures-up-10-30464636.html#sthash.eKLQevEK.dpuf