Tourism survey of Galway gives valuable insight into visitor experiences

Fáilte Ireland this week published a comprehensive set of reports capturing holidaymakers’ views of Ireland including a survey on Galway.

Analysing the views of nearly 10,000 overseas and domestic holidaymakers who visited eleven holiday areas across the country between May to October 2013, the reports provide insights into what visitors experienced and thought about Irish tourism’s key regions.

Visitors explained why they chose a certain destination, how they researched their trip and sourced their information as well as where they stayed, where they chose to eat and what attractions they visited. Insights provided include:

— Regarding the overall visitor experience of each area, all regions scored above 4 out of 5 across a range of factors including friendliness of locals, landscapes and the availability of things to see and do.

— While all regions scored highly for friendliness, ‘Dublin’s doorstep’ (the counties just outside Dublin ) shaded it as the friendliest region in Ireland with an average score of 4.93 out of 5.

— While all regions scored impressively for value for money, when asked where they found exceptional value for money (‘very good value’ ) when eating out, West Cork (45 per cent ) and Clare (42 per cent ) performed impressively.

— While specific attractions were mentioned as particularly memorable moments for visitors to most regions, the overall scenery was the key stand-out feature of the North West, South East and the Dingle Peninsula.

— Scenery was cited as the top draw to visit most regions with the exceptions of Dublin and the Shannon corridor where history and culture were mentioned as the leading reasons for visiting.

— Hotels were the leading source of accommodation in all regions with B&Bs putting in strong performances in the Dingle peninsula, the ring of Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo and West Cork.

— Hotels, restaurants and pubs were the main venues for eating out - cafés were particularly popular among holidaymakers in Kerry.

Speaking this week, Caeman Wall Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Research stressed the importance of research like this towards the future development of Ireland’s tourism sector.

“If we want to continue to attract more overseas visitors to Ireland, tourism needs to be ‘visitor-centric’ and based around what they think, what they like and what they want.

“Tourism is having a good year and is enjoying impressive growth but we can’t become complacent. If we are to ensure that the current growth rates are sustainable, we need to ensure we are providing the right type of holiday experiences – particularly for our overseas markets.

“In that respect, research like this is a valuable help to all of us in the sector as we continue to develop and improve Ireland’s tourism offering.”

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