Fáilte Ireland revealed at the Bloom Garden Festival yesterday that independent research indicates that as many as 80% of families may take a holiday in Ireland in 2010.
It also announced a summer marketing campaign which will particularly target families.
The tourism and hospitality industry employs some 200,000 people and generates more than €6 billion in a revenue a year.
Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Mary Hanafin, launching the summer marketing campaign, said the latest research figures are encouraging and show there may still be more business to pitch for in the home holiday market.
“As schools close, parents will naturally be looking for attractive locations with lots to do and see for all the family.
“For that reason, our Discover Ireland summer campaign is rightly focusing on families and points to a wide range of options and bargains to suit all tastes and budgets,” she said.
Ms Hanafin said Ireland is a great value destination and, especially when the sun shines, can rival any overseas choice.
Fáilte chief executive Shaun Quinn said the range of special offers in the summer brochure and online are a reflection of the determination of tourism businesses to fight for every potential inch of the market.
“As our research shows, there is a very strong possibility that many more Irish families will stay at home this summer.
“It is up to all of us in the tourism sector to do all we can to tap this potential by offering good value and a great experience.
“The viability of hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs depend upon it,” he said. Almost 700,000 copies of a Discover Ireland special offers brochure will be distributed this weekend with thousands more available to the public from local tourist information offices.
It will contain more then 200 special offers centred on accommodation, as well as attractions and restaurants. There are up to 500 special offers available online at www.discoverireland.ie.
The promotion is being supported by an intensive, two-week campaign beginning on Monday specifically emphasising family breaks.
Fáilte Ireland said the results of independent research on family holiday intentions were encouraging.
It indicates that more than four in every five (81%) adults (with children aged under 18) are likely to take a holiday at home with their family in Ireland this year.
This is double the four in ten (43%) of adults who indicated that they are likely to take a family holiday abroad this year instead of, or as well as, an Irish holiday.
When compared to the percentage of families who holidayed abroad last year (56%), a potential drop to 43% this year would mark a noticeable decline.
Fáilte Ireland said these figures would represent a significant pool of possible additional home holiday business that the Irish tourism industry could target.