Ireland has been given a strong seal of approval from overseas visitors, according to the latest survey from tourism organisation Fáilte Ireland.
The majority of people are very satisfied with their visit to Ireland with many saying it exceeded their expectations.
The Irish Times reports that Ireland’s reputation with tourists is improving by the year. People are more likely to be happy with the value for money they were getting from their holiday than they were in previous years.
The findings are from Fáilte Ireland’s Visitor Attitudes Survey 2014. The survey was conducted among nearly 1,500 people from overseas who visited Ireland in 2014.
For a while, Ireland had acquired the unfortunate nickname of ‘Rip-off Republic’ in some corners of the internet due to perceived high prices in tourist areas.
However, Fáilte Ireland’s survey shows that people who visited the country in 2014 were happy with how far their money went.
Over half of the respondents (54%) said that they felt they had received either ‘good’ or ‘very good’ value for money in Ireland. This is an increase from the 51% who gave the same answer in 2013.
Last year only 5% of people believed that their holiday had been ‘poor’ value for money. This is a huge drop from 2007, when 41% of people were unhappy with the value they were getting.
In fact, tourists are more likely to be very happy with their time in Ireland. The holiday met the expectations of 55% of tourists, while 44% of people found it to be even better than they had hoped.
Many said that the holiday exceeded their expectations because the weather and food were better than they had thought it would be.
The things people enjoyed most about of their visit was the natural scenery and the Irish people themselves, as well as the history and culture.
However, many people were unhappy with the prices of the food, drink and souvenirs in the tourist hotspots.
Some also felt that the conditions of the roads needed improving and that signposting wasn’t clear enough.
By the end of their holiday, many had enjoyed themselves enough to say they would return – 57% said they would definitely be back. About half of those said they would return within the next 12 months.
People in North America were most likely to recommend a holiday in Ireland, with 81% saying they would encourage their friends and family to make the trip. The figure was 69% with visitors overall.
Fáilte Ireland didn’t release figures for tourists’ favourite experience in 2014. However, the top 5 in 2013 were:
• Listening to live music in an Irish pub (83%)
• Visiting a coastal town (82%)
• Having a pint of Guinness (79%)
• Visiting as food or craft market (49%)
• Taking part in a city tour (41%).
This follows a familiar pattern in similar surveys that have recently been conducted. According to Dublin City University the Irish pub was the number one attraction for 80% of tourists. TripAdvisor also recently released their list of the top 10 Irish beaches.
Check out our tourism section for some of the countless things to do while on holiday in Ireland.