Ireland’s tourism authority have revealed the top seven reasons tourists give for wanting to visit the country – and it’s a two way tie at the top.
The results, which were released by Fáílte Ireland as part of its annual Visitor Attitudes Survey, show that it is Ireland’s people that are the big attraction for tourists, as well as the beautiful scenery.
The results were compiled after questioning almost 2,000 overseas visitors to Ireland between June and October 2015.
Irish people have a superb reputation around the world for being friendly, welcoming and enjoying ‘the craic’.
Of course many people from overseas are descended from emigrants and have come to visit specific Irish people such as relatives and family friends.
Ireland is also famous for having some of the most striking scenery in Europe and there are beauty spots all over the country.
Visit our tourism section for information on some of Ireland’s top attractions.
Other popular reasons for visiting Ireland included the history and culture of the country with plenty to see and do, and the fact that it is perceived as a safe and secure destination.
1. Friendly people: 96%
2. Beautiful Scenery: 96%
3. Safe and secure destination: 92%
4. Plenty to see and do: 92%
5. Good range of natural attractions: 90%
6. Interesting history and culture: 87%
7. Natural unspoilt environment: 86%
As well as asking what tourists looked forward to about Ireland, the Visitor Attitudes Survey also revealed a lot about tourists’ impressions after they had experienced the country.
Could it possibly live up to their expectations?
As it turns out, for the most part it could. Over half (56%) of Ireland’s visitors said their trip had met their expectations, while 44% said the holiday had exceeded their expectations.
Not too bad considering expectations were so high to begin with.
Irish people didn’t let the country down with 69% of tourists saying that their holiday had exceeded their expectations because of the people they met.
Visitors were also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, scenery, culture and wildlife.
1. Irish People: 69%
2. Scenery: 65%
3. History & Culture: 37%
4. Nature & Wildlife: 29%
5. Weather better than expected: 28%
6. Good quality & variety of food: 27%
Nearly two thirds (64%) of tourists said they hoped to return within the next five years.
People were also pleased with the value for money they experienced while on their holiday. The most common response from tourists was that the value for money was ‘good’ (45%).
It seems that the value for money on offer in Ireland is improving as more tourists felt they had received either ‘good’ or ‘very good’ value for money than in the previous year.
• Very Good: 18% (2015) up from 14% (2014)
• Good: 45% (2015) up from 41% (2014)
• Fair: 31% (2015) down from 38% (2014)
• Poor: 5% (2015), same as 5% (2015)
• Very pool: 0% (2015) down from 1% (2014)
For more information about Ireland’s many tourist attractions and things to do in the most popular cities, check out our tourism section.