A 'build it and they will come' mantra prompted more Germans to holiday in Ireland

There was a ‘substantial’ 20% increase in visitor numbers in 2018, Davy pundits noted.

By Conor McMahon Deputy editor, Fora

THERE WAS A noticeable leap in the number of German tourists coming to Ireland last year, which Davy analysts have attributed to the old mantra, “build it and they will come”.

Recent figures from the Central Statistics Office show that an estimated 817,800 overseas visitors from Germany came to these shores in 2018, a 20% increase on the previous year’s tally.

In a briefing note today, number crunchers at Davy explained that “the building out of airline seat capacity” played a significant role in bolstering the figures.

Data produced by the stockbroker showed that the number of airline seats available between Germany and Dublin “increased 12% in 2017 but jumped a further 24% in 2018″.

“This increase in traffic was well-placed by the airlines – while the number of visitors from Germany grew just 4.5% in 2017, it jumped a substantial 20% in 2018,” analysts wrote in the briefing note.

Dublin Airport’s schedule alone for last summer provided 180 weekly services to Germany, putting it in second place after Spain as the most well-served mainland European destination during the busy travel season.

davy germany chart
Source: Davy Research

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Davy noted that winter capacity for the 2018-2019 season to Ireland is expected to increase 7% year-on-year, which the analysts said should “help to further underline the strength in visitors to Ireland in 2019″.

The current winter schedule for Dublin Airport provides 168 weekly services to and from Germany, higher than any other mainland European destination.

Hotels data

The research produced by Davy – which monitors Ireland’s largest hotel group, Dalata – also provided a check-up on the hotel industry in the immediate aftermath of the 4.5% increase in VAT for tourism-related businesses, which kicked in in January.

Collating data produced by hospitality analytics firm STR Global, the pundits wrote that the average rate of revenue per available room (revPAR) – the estimated amount of money a hotel makes on each room – started 2019 “on a solid footing” in both Dublin and regional areas.

The figures show that revPAR for Dublin increased by 0.9% to less than €80 per room, while the average daily rate went up by 2.1% to just under €120.

Figures for regional hotels – which are based on data provided to STR by hoteliers in Kilkenny, Cork, Galway, Sligo and provincial clusters – showed that revPAR increased 4.9% in January to over €40 while the average daily rate was about €85, representing a 3.9% spike.

Davy noted that the overall strength in the number of continental European visitors to Ireland – which represented the largest tourist market last year, bringing 3.8 million people here – is seen as “positive for hotels given higher spend and greater usage of hotels versus UK visitors”.

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