Demand for B&B Ireland bookings rose 15% last year, with the number of overseas visitors choosing an Irish B&B home stay also up 15% – exceeding the national figure of 10% growth in overseas visitors.
That’s according to B&B Ireland, the leading body representing the sector, who say they are optimistic about greater growth in 2017, particularly if they can supply the demand for B&B accommodation in key areas.
Chief Executive Helena Healy says they are “excited, yet cautiously optimistic, about B&B tourism in 2017”. Commenting on the results, Ms Healy attributed the phenomenal success of 2016 to a combination of factors.
“The introduction of new airline routes – such as Dublin to LA and Vancouver, Cork to Madrid and Dusseldorf and Knock to Birmingham – has been a big factor in the visitor growth. These include our main markets because of the continuing popularity of the B&B product among overseas visitors – who represent over 90% of our bookings.”
“As Ireland’s leading B&B representative body, we work with over 100 tourism & travel trade partners – such as ferry lines and tour operators – to promote the B&B product at home and abroad, in addition to our dedicated website bandbireland.com. This creates a unique channel of business for B&B owners. For example, Germany is one of the top four markets for tourism to the island of Ireland, and some 50% of German people book their holidays through a travel agent or tour operator – so trade arrangements like those we have in Germany and other overseas destinations are important for B&B Ireland to reach and influence prospective visitors.”
Ms Healy says demand for B&B Ireland accommodation exceeds supply in key areas such as Galway, Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Clare, Donegal, Antrim and Kilkenny, “and we would encourage B&B owners to take advantage of our booking platform. We have favourable commission rates and lower cancellation rates, and our visitors tend to stay longer. This is on top of our close relationship with tour operators and travel agencies in top markets”.
“The very strong growth in overseas visits to Ireland during 2016 is welcome news for all of us, and especially for communities across the country where tourism is a mainstay of the local economy and an important revenue generator”.
“Getting the best online booking system to make your B&B business thrive is probably the most important decision a B&B owner can make which is why, for the first time in our 45-year history, we are offering the wider B&B sector in Ireland an opportunity to sell their room stock through B&B Ireland at lower commission rates.”
B&B Ireland is currently recruiting B&B Operators, if you are interested in selling your rooms through us, please contact 071 98 22222 or visit www.bandbireland.com/join