The report shines light on tourist profiles and trends in Ireland.
Conducted among 1,131 respondents between the months of September and October 2017, it indicates that for four-fifths of tourists, visiting an Irish pub is an important part of their visit, with 43% saying the warm and welcome atmosphere was the best part of the Irish pub experience.
The Irish pub experience
Ireland’s renowned pub scene didn’t fail to impress tourists again last year with nearly all (93%) visiting a pub during their stay. Some 79% of respondents to the Europcar survey stated that visiting an Irish pub was an important part of their experience of Irish culture during their holiday.
Almost a third (28%) of tourists appreciated listening to traditional music in Irish pubs and 18% considered the taste of real Irish Guinness to be the highlight of the pub experience in Ireland.
Who is visiting and why
Europcar Ireland’s research shows that 27% of foreign tourists who visited Ireland last year hailed from the UK, while Americans made up another 13% of tourists and Italians were next in line at 12%. The majority (59%) of tourists from abroad had visited Ireland previously, but over two-fifths (41%) were making their very first trip to the country.
Most visitors (61%) travelled to Ireland to discover what the country has to offer while over a third (34%) were visiting family and friends or in the country for a family occasion.
The number of Irish people taking a staycation as their main holiday for the year has jumped significantly since 2016. Last year over half (53%) of Irish staycationers reported their holiday in Ireland as their main getaway, in contrast to just under one in five (19%) in 2016. Half of those who staycation in Ireland do so to discover new parts of the country – Dublin is the most popular destination among one-fifth of staycationers followed closely by Galway (14%), Kerry (13%) and Cork (12%).
“2017 was another great year for tourism in Ireland with an increase of 4.2% in overseas visitors to Ireland during the first half of last year compared to the same period in 2016 according to the CSO,” commented Europcar Ireland’s Managing Director Colm Menton, “Particularly significant last year was the rise in the number of Irish residents choosing to explore the country further with a staycation. It is very encouraging for those who service the tourism sector to see how much Ireland has to offer existing Irish nationals and residents, in addition to tourists visiting from abroad.”
2017 Europcar Ireland Tourism Index key findings
- Visiting an Irish pub was a holiday-essential for 79% of visitors
- Nearly a quarter (23%) of tourists stayed in Airbnb or private shared accommodation
- More than one in four (27%) of foreign tourists hailed from UK
- 25% of Irish people took staycations in Ireland in 2017, rising from 18% in 2016
- 53% of staycationers classed a holiday in Ireland as their main getaway in 2017
- 97% of tourists enjoyed exploring Ireland by car.