Germany offers significant potential for tourism, according to a new Tourism Ireland strategy.
The strategy sets out challenging and ambitious targets which will see visitor numbers from Germany grow by 20% by 2021. Germany is the third-largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland. In fact, we saw growth of +62% in revenue from German visitors in the period 2012-2016; this strong growth was driven by effective marketing and sales activity, more direct flights, as well as positive macro-economic conditions.
New research was undertaken as part of this review of the German market, in order to deepen our understanding of our target audience in Germany and how they choose their holiday destination. Key findings included:
– the island of Ireland brand (or image) needs to be more distinctive, in order to motivate German travellers to choose Ireland over our competitor destinations;
– visual stimuli, and in particular inspiring video and images, are important motivators for Germans;
– Germans need a deeper knowledge of Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland – about the breadth of things to see and do here, the costs, ease of access, our weather and also the quality of our food;
– Germans seek multiple recommendations (and reassurance) before booking and their main sources of information include friends and family, search engines and guidebooks;
– the internet is used extensively to plan and prepare for a holiday, although many holidaymakers continue to book in the traditional way, through the travel trade;
– the island of Ireland, and Northern Ireland in particular, will benefit from being more visible and topical; and
– Germans evaluate price early and often when planning their holiday, with some 53% checking out price comparison websites and online travel operators.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Germany has performed extremely well for tourism to Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland in recent years and the future is undoubtedly bright. We believe that this is a market of considerable potential over the coming years. However, we certainly don’t take the performance for granted; we need to adapt and respond to new opportunities to ensure that success continues. I am confident that our new, focused strategy will deliver on the challenging targets we have set for growth in German visitors, between now and 2021.”
The new strategy has been developed in close co-operation with Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland, as well a wide range of industry partners, at home and in Germany. It has identified the market segments and opportunities which will drive strong growth from Germany to Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland over the coming four years.