Irish Hotels Federation chief executive, John Power today welcomed the latest CSO tourism figures which show an increase of almost 11% in the number of overseas visitors to Ireland during the first eight months of the year with a record number of visitors for August.
The IHF highlights that the benefits of the €40m investment by Tourism Ireland in overseas marketing efforts in 2006, substantially contributed to achieving this performance.
According to Mr. Power for every additional €1 spent on tourism marketing the IHF has estimated that the return is worth €15 in Government revenue.
“These figures combined with the increased visitor numbers, clearly underpins the importance and value of maintaining and indeed increasing the investment in marketing."
“The IHF and its members are extremely encouraged by these figures much of which can be attributed to this year’s increased marketing investment both by Government and the industry.
"The increase in Government investment provided for a highly focussed marketing drive by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland across the key strategic markets namely the Britain, US and mainland Europe.
"Their efforts were augmented by the additional funding made available by Government to promote Ireland’s hosting of the Ryder Cup. This in turn has seen our visitor numbers grow over the corresponding period across all of these markets.
"Clearly there is a direct correlation between the investment spend on marketing Ireland as a destination and the impact of that investment both in terms of increased visitor numbers and tourism revenues,” continues Mr Power.
The IHF also welcomed the 11% increase in domestic holiday trips during the first six months (with a corresponding increase of almost 23% in expenditure).
“While the success of the economy continues to impact on domestic tourism the growth is also reflective of increased investment by both the Government, through Fáilte Ireland and by the industry itself in promoting the attractiveness of frequent holiday breaks throughout Ireland.
"Investment by the hotel industry has resulted in a wide choice of accommodation, with excellent standards and facilities, which offer value for money with wide appeal to the growing Irish market”.