Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (748)

Finian McGrath

Question:

748. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason Ireland is not keeping pace with the demand for youth travel and urgently developing this sector as there is huge potential for tourism and jobs in view of the fact that Dublin has been voted number eight city in the youth travellers list and number one in Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9636/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The development and promotion of particular tourism niches and markets are operational matters for the tourism agencies.  However, with regard to the matter raised by the Deputy, I am advised that approximately two out of every five visitors to Ireland are under 35 years of age, clearly demonstrating the importance of younger visitors for Irish tourism and justifying the tourism agencies' active pursuit of the youth segment.  The strong promotion of Ireland as a destination for school group visits, study tours for third level colleges and learning English as a foreign language also appeals to the younger traveller.

Market research indicates that these younger visitors are looking for active, stimulating holidays with plenty to see and do by day and by night.  Such visitors also tend to be web users and share their experiences via social media.  Accordingly, Fáilte Ireland is tailoring and packaging tourism products and experiences to meet their needs, focusing particularly on digital channels to reach this segment and is in the process of developing a "Product Development and Communications Plan" to increase its reach further.  In terms of overseas promotions, Tourism Ireland is specifically targeting younger holidaymakers in our key markets through a range of promotional activity, with social media playing an important role, as well as publicity on and offline, video on demand, cinema, top news and travel websites and online radio.