Fáilte Ireland Accommodation Occupancy Statistics
January to September 2012
Hotels and self-catering establishments registered improved occupancy rates and Guesthouse occupancy remained unchanged compared to 2011. Occupancy rates in hostels and B&Bs fell albeit for different reasons. Occupancy rates alone can hide improvements or contractions in demand when the level of capacity is changing.
|Accommodation Occupancy (%)Accommodation Type||January-September|
|Self-catering Group Scheme||Units||39||41||44|
Developing cultural tourism in Ireland is now a strategic priority for government and agencies like Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and the Arts Council. From a tourism perspective, the value envisaged is economic: the industry sees arts and culture as constituting one of Ireland’s core appeals as a tourism destination with a strong ability to draw international tourists and their associated revenue flows. In addition, arts and cultural resources offer a potential means of redressing the problems of regional imbalance that now beset Irish tourism. Dublin is the destination of choice for more than two fifths of the market and the number of visitors holidaying outside of the Dublin region declined significantly between 2003 and 2009 (ITIC, 2010). From a cultural perspective, the potential of cultural tourism lies in increasing and diversifying audiences and thus enhancing the sustainability of the sector. In addition, there is added value for communities and society in general, as generating synergies between arts, culture and tourism can positively contribute to civic, community and social realms as well as to local economic development.
However, with some notable exceptions, there is a distinct lack of connectivity between the tourism and arts and culture sectors which is hampering the development of cultural tourism activity. This is the key problem addressed here. Spread throughout the regions is a wealth of cultural activity and a well developed infrastructure of venues staging vibrant arts activity of international calibre, be it in visual arts, film, literature or the performing arts. This activity engages 2.3 million Irish citizens (66% of the adult population), who participate in the arts annually (NCFA, 2011). Currently, however, this cultural activity is only modestly engaging visitor populations and is only moderately integrated into the offerings of the tourism sector. In effect, the tourism potential of the arts and culture sector is not being harnessed to optimal effect.
Addressing these issues and investigating mechanisms for promoting collaboration and networking between the two sectors in two destinations in the West of Ireland is the focus of this study. This report presents the main research findings and makes suggestions as to how linkages between the sectors might be encouraged to enhance the development of cultural tourism.