Irish tour operators are emphasising the value of holidays and the added security offered by the bonded package holiday, according to the President of the Irish Tour Operators Federation, Philip Airey, when speaking at a function hosted by the Spanish Tourism Office.
“In these difficult economic times, people are very careful with spending and it makes sense to opt for the tried and tested tour operator,” he said.
ITOF members account for 90% of all outbound packaged holidays from Ireland and represent the major tour operators – American Holidays, Crystal Holidays, Falcon Holidays, Sunway Holidays, Thomas Cook Holidays, Thomson Holidays and Topflight.
Tourism to Spain
Recently released figures show that the number of Irish people taking holidays in Spain has continued to increase, despite the recession. The number of Irish people holidaying in Spain last year went up by almost 9% on the previous year, with their spend increasing by 4%.
While the number of trips abroad made by Irish people continues to go down, the number of trips made to Spain has been recovering, from its decline in 2010. Almost 1.3 million trips were made in 2011.
Favourite destinations for the Irish are the Canary Islands (31%) and Andalucia (21%), with the Balearic Islands and Cataluña attracting 15% each of Irish visitors. Over 40% of these travelled between June and August, and 61% between May and September. Only 24% of Irish visitors chose packaged holidays, with 76% travelling independently.
Inbound tourism to Spain in 2011 saw a 7.6% increase compared to 2010. Spain received 56.7 million international tourists in 2011, four million more than 2010. By total numbers of international tourists 2011 has been the third best year ever in tourism (2006: 58 million; 2007: 58.6 million).
Total spend of international tourism (including spend in origin) amounted to approximately €53,000 million, with an 8.1% increase over 2010. Average daily spend increased by 4.1% to €101.60.
• Irish tourists to Spain increased 8.77% from 2010
• Irish tourists to Spain increased their spend by 3.9% over 2010
• Over 20% of total Irish overseas travel is to Spain
• Over 31% of Irish residents’ overseas holiday travel is to Spain
• The equivalent of 28.5% of the population registered in the census visited Spain in 2011
• Over 40% travelled between June and August; 61% between May and September
• 84% of international tourists visiting Spain had done so before on at least one other occasion