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Irish Holidaymakers Seek Local Cuisine, New Countries and Local Culture

Irish Holidaymakers Seek Local Cuisine, New Countries and Local Culture

According to new research released today by Royal Caribbean International, nearly three-quarters (70%) of Irish holidaymakers cite sampling local culinary delight when abroad, compared to just over half in Britain (56%), as one of their main reasons for taking a holiday. Nearly two-thirds (62%) stated that seeing new countries was also a key driver, along with soaking up the local culture (66%), compared to 51% and 60% in Britain respectively.

The Irish are also more active than their counterparts across the water, with just under one-third (30%) of Irish holidaymakers enjoying participating active pursuits such as rock climbing, hiking and swimming, compared to 22% of British travellers.

The research also found that many Irish enjoy a holiday every three to six months with over half (53%) taking two to four holidays a year, compared to just 42% of the English and Welsh and 44% of Scots. Only one in 10 (11%) of Irish people stated they did not take a holiday compared to nearly a quarter in Britain (24%). Spending quality time immediate family is another key driver for the Irish when booking a holiday for over a third (36%) of 18 – 24 year olds and nearly half (49%) of 25 – 34 year olds.

Dream Destinations

When it comes to dream destinations, there are two clear winners for the Irish – the USA (18%) followed closely by Spain (17%), two of Royal Caribbean’s premier destinations. For the British, the USA again came out strongly with one in five (20%) choosing it as their ideal destination, followed by Australia and New Zealand in second place with 15% (compared to 10% of the Irish). Also 10% of Irish and British agree that the turquoise waters of the Caribbean would be a dream destination.

When it comes to the 18 – 24 year age group, it seems the JOMO (joy of missing out) trend has well and truly taken hold, with 42% of the Irish stating that one of the main reasons for going on holiday is to ‘switch off and have some alone time’, which is in line with the British at 39%. Age is just a number it seems for older Irish holidaymakers with only 29% of 45 – 54 year olds wanting to switch off on holiday, though that is not the case for older British (40%).

With potentially up to four holidays a year, it could be expected that Irish consumers would be looking to watch the wallet when booking a holiday. To some extent this rings true, with just over 21% looking for a holiday costing €500 or less compared to the 12% of British looking to spend the equivalent. However, 60% are willing to spend €750 – €1,500 on a week-long all-inclusive holiday compared to just 48% in Britain.

Royal Caribbean International

The Irish Travel Agents Association has previously stated that the all-inclusive cruise is set to be one of the biggest travel trends for 2015, and Royal Caribbean International offers an ideal holiday option for Irish people. Next summer the cruise line will offer 23 ships visiting 269 ports in 75 countries, and extensive dining and onboard activities options including rock-climbing and the tallest slide at sea on the new Harmony of the Seas.

Ben Bouldin, Sales Director for UK & Ireland, said: “Ireland is a key market for us and we pride ourselves on knowing what our Irish customers want, so it’s great to see that this research reinforces our understanding. We value our Irish passengers and want to ensure they have the very best Royal Caribbean holiday possible.”

Royal Caribbean will be offering a diverse range of holiday options for 2015 / 2016, such as a seven-night Mediterranean cruise from €459 per person onboard the new Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise liner sailing from Barcelona next summer.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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