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08 Jan 2020

Significant opportunities for Irish tourism from Britain in 2020 – according to new survey

~ Tourism Ireland CEO advises British visitors it’s ‘business as usual’ after Brexit ~

A new survey reveals that over half of Britons are interested in visiting the island of Ireland in 2020.

The survey, undertaken last month by YouGov, on behalf of Tourism Ireland, shows that 52% of British people planning to take a short break this year said that they are interested in visiting Ireland. The majority cited scenery (68%) as a great reason to visit, as well as culture (47%) and the craic (44%). One-third (33.4%) of respondents said they think that they would have the most fun with locals in Ireland, compared with the locals in other destinations.

However, only 50% of those surveyed were aware of the Common Travel Area (CTA) agreement; the CTA, signed in 1923, is set to remain in place, despite Brexit – allowing British citizens to travel freely to Ireland, without restrictions.

Tourism Ireland’s CEO, Niall Gibbons, is visiting London this week – undertaking a series of interviews with various media outlets, including Sky News, Talk Radio, Travelmole, Breaking Travel News and The Sunday Times, to deliver a message of reassurance to prospective British visitors and to remind them why 2020 is a great year to visit the island of Ireland. The key message is that the Common Travel Area (CTA) between Britain and Ireland will continue after Brexit – which means no travel restrictions for our British visitors.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This time of year is a key holiday planning period for British travellers, so we’re taking the opportunity to remind them about the Common Travel Area and ease of access between Britain and Ireland. Brexit won’t change how easy it is to get to Ireland, with no change or restriction for British visitors.

“Our message for 2020 is very simple. Whatever happens with Brexit, our welcome will continue to be as genuinely warm as ever; our people will continue to be funny and full of chat; and our landscapes will continue to take your breath away. We will be marketing hard in Britain to deliver that message – right through 2020 – and to provide the reassurance that potential British visitors need to hear.”

This is an important time of year for travel search and booking, so Tourism Ireland has a number of key messages for British holidaymakers:
  • no matter what happens with Brexit, the Common Travel Area will remain in place and there will be no restrictions for British visitors travelling to Ireland.
  • it’s easy to get to Ireland; right now, there are some 1,600 flights each week from 23 different British airports and almost 49,000 car spaces on ferry routes.
  • Brexit won’t change the warmth of our welcome; our people are still friendly, funny and full of chat!
  • there’s no reason for British travellers to put off planning a holiday or short break to Ireland, with so many great reasons to visit – including Galway European Capital of Culture for 2020.

In 2019, we welcomed around 4.7 million British visitors to the island of Ireland; Tourism Ireland aims to grow that number by +2% in 2020. As our nearest neighbour, Britain remains an extremely important market for tourism. It’s a market with a strong affinity with Ireland; and British visitors are more likely to visit all year round and to travel more widely around our regions, including border areas, more than other visitors.

Notes To Editors

  • The YouGov survey was carried out 17-18 December 2019 among a sample size of 2,011 adults in Britain.
  • Over half (52%) of those surveyed who’re planning to take a short break in 2020 would be interested in going to Ireland.
  • Ireland’s scenery is one of the main draws (68%), as well as culture (47%) and the craic (44%).
  • One-third of British adults (33.4%) said they think that they would have the most fun with locals in Ireland, compared with the locals in other destinations.
  • 50% are aware of the Common Travel Area agreement.