Fáilte Ireland reveals plans to drive domestic tourism in 2023

Offering good value for money will be critical to driving domestic bookings, says Fáilte Ireland.

Ireland’s tourism agency Fáilte Ireland has revealed its plans for 2023 which will focus on several key areas.

The seven pillars of Fáilte Ireland’s plan include business recovery, tourism careers, growing the domestic tourism market, opening the outdoors, facilitating the ongoing digitalisation of the industry, developing destinations and climate action.

“The domestic market is critical for sustainable recovery and plays a key role in driving regional and seasonal spread”

The plans were announced at a special virtual event for the tourism industry today (20 February) watched by more than 1,700 tourism operators, providers and employers from across the sector.

Supporting employers and employees

“Our plans for 2023 are built around seven key pillars that we believe will lead to transformational change,” said Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly.

“These are driving sustainable recovery at the level of individual businesses; supporting employers and employees in making tourism an attractive long-term career; accelerating growth in domestic tourism; enhancing our outdoor tourism product and the quality of visitor experiences in destinations; building the digitalisation of the industry and driving climate action.”

Kelly said that developing the domestic tourism market will be critical fro sustainable recovery and will play a key role in driving regional and seasonal spread.

“The domestic market is critical for sustainable recovery and plays a key role in driving regional and seasonal spread. Looking at the domestic market, consideration for taking a domestic holiday in 2023 is at 82% which is in line with 2019 levels and intention to take a domestic break in the next 3 months is at 23%. Visitor satisfaction is high but offering good value for money is critical to convert this domestic intention into domestic bookings.” 

“A recent analysis conducted by Fáilte Ireland’s Economic and Industry Analysis team showed the tourism sector lost €12billion in revenue due to the pandemic. The very welcome and comprehensive package of Government supports injected approximately €6billion into the sector to keep businesses alive but the sector still had to manage through a huge net loss of €6billion in revenue.” 

Fáilte Ireland also unveiled details today of its new Motivations Framework which has been created using behavioural science and extensive research to understand peoples’ motivation for travel. Understanding what really motivates people to travel will provide tourism businesses with useful insights to help shape their offering and experiences and inform their sales and marketing activities.

“The Framework adds rich context to the way we view consumers,” said Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Consumer Planning and Insights Jill De Azevedo.

“There are many ways we can understand tourists’ habits and preferences. Why they travel; why they choose their destinations; their behaviours while taking a break. For tourism businesses, understanding these motivations is important to understanding demand. As consumers and tourists, we all have multifaced motivations for travel. Our research shows that the ‘why’, the actual motivation, is the most important factor that influences the choice of destination and behaviour while on a break.”

In her address to welcome Fáilte Ireland’s plans Minister Catherine Martin TD said: “The Government remains committed to supporting the recovery of tourism. I welcome Fáilte Ireland’s priorities for 2023 and I look forward to seeing the results across the country of their ambitious plans. While I know hotel capacity, energy costs and labour shortages are real challenges for the industry this year, I am continuing to direct significant resources to support the sustainable recovery of the sector. In Budget 2023 I secured additional funding for the industry in the areas of marketing, skills and staffing, product development and sustainability.” 

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.