One of the UK and Ireland’s largest self-catering holiday operators has welcomed Tourism Ireland’s multi-million euro strategy to boost visitor numbers to Ireland in 2010.
Imagine Ireland, which promotes over 1000 individually vetted properties throughout the country, said a refocusing of marketing efforts to target growing consumer confidence in the UK would reap dividends for Irish tourism.
Imagine Ireland, however, has cautioned the Irish tourism industry against complacency as other worldwide destinations similarly would be actively targeting any resurgence in demand.
“The need to constantly drive value for money throughout pubs, shops, transport providers and attractions, combined for example with Tourism Ireland’s efforts at maintaining a prevalent brand presence across key markets particularly the UK, Ireland’s closest and largest overseas market, is critical to Ireland’s emergence from its current tourism downturn”, stated Annette Collins, Joint Managing Director of Imaginer Ireland.
Speaking at the launch of Imagine Ireland’s new holiday programme for 2010, Ms Collins said: “We believe that tourism numbers, particularly UK visitors to Ireland, will return to 2008 levels by the end of next year. Our predictions are predicated on three factors: the increasing value for money for UK tourists in Ireland, the UK general election and the bottoming out of the UK’s recession.”
“There is an ongoing adjustment within the cost base of the Irish economy which combined with salary cuts and declining domestic demand will see a 10% fall in products and services over the course of 2010 countering the recent rises in the value of the Euro versus Sterling. There also are green shoots beginning to emerge within the UK economy as the banks are stabilized and the economic upheaval of the past 12 months settles. This in turn will encourage banks to start lending, companies to start investing and companies to start employing in turn putting more spending power back into the UK economy as consumers recover the confidence to spend” added Ms Collins.
Commenting on the Imagine Ireland’s bid to generate 11,000 self catering holidays in 2010, Ms. Astrid Nitzsche, Strategic Director, Imagine Ireland: “Our business is well-established thanks to our relationship with our owners and our holidaymakers. That said we take nothing for granted particularly as the tourism market has become global due to the internet while the self-catering market in particular has seen an upsurge in competition from non-traditional sectors such as hotels and serviced apartments. We have, for example, invested this year in our brand while our marketing activity is being repositioned to target our predicted lift in tourists’ propensity to travel, hence our recent re-launch of Imagine Ireland against the backdrop of the world’s largest trade fair, World Travel Market, which took place in London earlier this month”,
Imagine Ireland was established in 2003 by Annette Collins and Astrid Nitzsche. For more see www.imagineireland.com.