Searching for gold during Saint Patrick’s Day
If you’re a native to Dublin, or indeed the island of Ireland, you will have surely noticed the number of tourists flocking in their droves to our shores, eager for a taste of Irish culture especially in the run-up to our legendary St Patricks Day.
It’ll come as no shock to hear that construction was completed on 15 hotels in the first 9 months of 2018, in order to cope with the 54% increase in international visitors touching down on Irish soil (13.7 million in 2018 alone !). This figure is set to grow as ‘Failte Ireland,’ amp up their marketing strategies to glorify all the best attributes Ireland has to offer, focusing massively on the thriving food scene and hospitality sector in general.
The tourist season unofficially begins with the festivities of St. Patrick’s day, where half a million people flood the streets of Dublin to catch a glimpse of the parade and join in on the camaraderie.
Many tourists use St. Patrick’s day as a launching pad, for longer holidays touring different corners of the country, or indeed Europe. As the spring months roll into summer, more and more tech-savvy travelers will be scouring Instagram and TripAdvisor deciding where to dine, as the tourist season will be in full swing. Menu’s lit up outside restaurants with hostesses luring you in, no longer cut the mustard. A few clicks online lead a bevy of diners to the most popular eateries in the city. Therefore by utilizing these platforms, restaurants can be guaranteed a slice of the action when it comes to tourist spending power.
The shift to social media shows no signs of slowing down, with users able to view restaurants and bars on a global scale and ultimately judge them accordingly. Aesthetically pleasing photos of interiors and food offerings are a must if restaurants wish to attract the newbies from all parts of the world. With diner’s being eager to satisfy all five of their senses when settling down for a meal, an opportunity arises for business owners to showcase the experience that their establishment can provide.
The rise of food and drink tourism has changed the purpose of visits for many.
Traditional travel destinations are on the decline, paving the way for the more cultured and adventurous holidaymakers to choose places that satisfy their need to immerse themselves in their surroundings and gain depth and value from their trip.
Food tourism tells the tale of a country’s culture and heritage to the visitor in a genuine way.
Research has shown, that prior to arrival, tourists had low expectations of the food that would be on offer in Ireland, however had left pleasantly surprised. This trend has meant ‘Failte Ireland,’ are incorporating this rapidly evolving segment of the market in their 5-year marketing strategy, with the overall aim of promoting Ireland as a global food destination. For restaurateurs of all means, it’s an exciting time to be in the market and showcase the best this country has to offer.
This is only amplified by global brands such as Guinness and Jameson’s fuelling the image of Ireland being a hub for hospitality and relaxation. Evident in the mere fact that 80% of overseas visitors mentioned pub culture as being one of the overarching factors in deciding to come to Ireland.
Undoubtedly, it’s a worthwhile, yet challenging time to be in the hospitality industry. Having been looked at unfavorably in the past, the Irish food scene has evolved ambitiously and is now competing on a global scale for customers with even higher spending power than before.
The month of March is a great opportunity for all of you, make sure you get the most out of it. And if you need help then contact us know.