South-West the top choice as staycation holidays increase

The view of the Abbey on Derrynane beach on the Ring of Kerry. Picture: Dan Linehan

Staycations are on the rise and the most popular destination is the South-West, which is chosen by more than one-in-five people seeking a break.

Last year 7.5m trips were taken by Irish residents within the Republic and they included holidays, visiting friends and relatives, and business travel.

The latest domestic tourism report from Fáilte Ireland shows an overall 2% increase in domestic travel, compared to 2014.

Money spent on trips rose by 5% to €1.53bn.

Domestic holiday trips increased by 6% over 2014 to 3.8m trips, with revenue up by 10% to €939m. There were 350,000 business trips made last year, a fall of 13%, with €84m spent, up 15%.

There was a slight decrease in visits to friends and relatives. Such visits accounted for 2.4m trips, a decrease of 1%, with spending at €278m, down by 8%.

The report shows that 58% of the population took at least one holiday trip in Ireland last year, with almost one in five (18%) taking a break that lasted four or more nights.

A quarter of all holidays were booked one to two weeks in advance. More than half (56%) of bookings were made within a month of taking the trip.

Just over half (52%) of people used the internet to book their holiday, while phone and email were used by 32% and 8% respectively.

The South-West, the most popular destination, accounted for 22% of all trips taken last year. The West and South-East were the next most popular, each attracting 19% of holidaymakers.

Almost four out of 10 holiday bed nights (37%) were spent in hotels. Rented accommodation accounted for 20%, while holiday homes had a 19% share. Just 5% of bed nights were spent in guesthouses or B&Bs, compared to 10% spent with a friend or relative.

Most holidaymakers (83%) travelled by private car; 13% used taxis, 9% used intercity trains, and 7% used buses.

Just under three-quarters (74%) of people were happy with the value for money on their holiday. However, the percentage of those reporting to be very satisfied decreased over the last two years, from 80% to 67%.

The downside to a holiday at home is the weather — 56% thought so. After the weather, costs were felt to be too high — accommodation (27%) and food (22%).

Overall, 96% of holidaymakers were happy with their staycation and just 1% were dissatisfied.

Fáilte Ireland’s director of marketing Noel John McLoughlin said the domestic market was crucial to the tourism industry.

“With our Dublin, Ireland’s Ancient East, and Wild Atlantic Way brands now up and running, we are able to provide and promote compelling and exciting choices for domestic holidaymakers,” he said.


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