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Events, Activities and Festival Tourism - Ireland - September 2011

Festivals and events are a dynamic part of the tourism sector and appeal to a wide cross-section of the population due to the wide-ranging nature of the genres and interests that they cover. Festivals also have a strong appeal for tourists, both domestic and from overseas. Tourism stakeholders and organisations put a lot of weight behind these festivals to ensure their success and to maximise their impact on tourism.

While tourism has been hit badly by the recession, festivals remain a key asset in keeping the domestic audience interested in Ireland as a tourism destination and appealing to a set of the overseas market. This report aims to outline how the impact of festivals on tourism can be maximised.

Some key questions answered in the report include:

  • What are the most popular genres of festival? – Which types of festivals attract the biggest crowds and in turn the highest level of spending?
  • How long do consumers stay in an area for a festival, event or activity? – How often do consumers stay overnight for events? What type of accommodation do they prefer?
  • How do Irish consumers perceive the quality and cost of Irish festivals? – Do Irish consumers perceive festivals, events and activities as expensive, and how will this opinion affect their usage during the recession?
  • What would encourage tourists to go to more festivals? – What can help to stimulate higher levels of visitation and spending at festivals? How important is promotion and online marketing to boosting visitor numbers?
  • How can tourists be encouraged to spend time in an area after a festival is over? – What can local tourism companies do to help encourage festival, event or activity visitors to extend their stay and visit local attractions, and thus improve the revenue generated from visitors?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes in the report
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Insights and Opportunities

            • Bringing indoor accommodation to festival sites
              • Pricing continues to be an issue
                • Spreading events across more days
                • Market in Brief

                  • Festival trips highly diverse
                    • Festivals are perceived as expensive
                      • Opportunities for extending festival visits
                        • Appetite for festivals leaves a big impact
                        • Fast Forwards

                            • Trend 1: Carnivore, Herbivore...Locavore
                              • What’s it about?
                                • What we’ve seen
                                  • What next?
                                    • Trend 2: Subsidise My Dream
                                      • What’s it about?
                                        • What we’ve seen
                                          • What next?
                                          • Internal Market Environment

                                            • Key points
                                              • Domestic holidays still on the agenda
                                                • Figure 1: Consumers’ plans to take a holiday over the next 12 months, RoI and NI, 2011
                                              • Irish tourism becoming more competitive?
                                                • Figure 2: Hotel prices in selected locations, 2009-11*
                                              • Online channels important as ever
                                                • Figure 3: Purchases made over the internet in the past 12 months, RoI and NI, 2011
                                              • Economic impact of festivals
                                                • Music and arts growing in popularity
                                                  • Figure 4: Agreement with selected statements about music and arts, RoI and NI, 2006-10
                                                • Love of food augurs well for food festivals
                                                  • Figure 5: Agreement with selected statements about food, RoI and NI, 2011
                                              • Broader Market Environment

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Instability threatening tourism
                                                    • Figure 6: Economic outlook, RoI and NI, 2009-11
                                                  • Unemployment may see holidays postponed
                                                    • Figure 7: Unemployment rates, RoI and NI, January 2009-Sept 2011
                                                  • Low confidence drives down spending
                                                    • Figure 8: Consumer Sentiment/Confidence Index, UK (inc NI) and RoI, September 2008-11
                                                  • Youngest and oldest age groups show growth in RoI
                                                    • Figure 9: Population, by age, RoI, 2006-41
                                                  • ... while NI only shows aging
                                                    • Figure 10: Population, by age, NI, 2008-58
                                                • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                  • Strengths
                                                    • Weaknesses
                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Food top of the agenda for Irish holidaymakers
                                                          • Figure 11: Activities enjoyed on holidays, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                        • Festivals are a top activity for overseas holidaymakers
                                                          • Figure 12: Activities participated in by overseas visitors to NI, 2009
                                                        • Activities high on RoI overseas tourism agenda
                                                          • Figure 13: Activities participated in by overseas visitors, RoI, 2010
                                                      • Market Overview

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Domestic tourism declines in 2010
                                                            • Figure 14: Domestic and overseas visitors to RoI, 2006-10
                                                          • NI domestic tourism remains buoyant
                                                            • Figure 15: Domestic and overseas visitors to NI, 2006-10
                                                          • Entertainment spending outperforms tourism in RoI
                                                            • Figure 16: Estimated expenditure by tourists on entertainment, RoI, 2006-10
                                                          • NI domestic entertainment expenditure fails to curb overseas losses
                                                            • Figure 17: Estimated expenditure by tourists on entertainment, NI, 2006-10
                                                          • Festivals a key draw for tourists
                                                            • Figure 18: Overseas visitor participation in festivals/events, NI, 2005-09
                                                            • Figure 19: Percentage of domestic tourists where festivals influenced their destination, RoI, 2006-10
                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Making art galleries and museums more eco-friendly
                                                              • Art and craft events to help drive tourism
                                                                • A wider variety of sports events to help boost visitor numbers
                                                                • Companies and Products

                                                                    • Tourism bodies
                                                                      • Tourism Ireland
                                                                        • Fáilte Ireland
                                                                          • Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB)
                                                                            • RoI festivals and events
                                                                              • Oxegen
                                                                                • Slane Concert
                                                                                  • Electric Picnic
                                                                                    • Dublin Jameson Film Festival
                                                                                      • Guinness Cork Jazz Festival
                                                                                        • Wexford Opera Festival
                                                                                          • The Queen’s visit to RoI
                                                                                            • Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival
                                                                                              • NI festivals and events
                                                                                                • Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens
                                                                                                  • Tennent’s Vital
                                                                                                    • Belsonic
                                                                                                      • Coors Light Open House Festival
                                                                                                        • MTV European Music Awards
                                                                                                          • Belfast Beer and Cider Festival
                                                                                                            • Omagh Walking Festival
                                                                                                              • RoI attractions
                                                                                                                • Guinness Storehouse
                                                                                                                  • Dublin Zoo
                                                                                                                    • The National Gallery of Ireland
                                                                                                                      • National Aquatic Centre
                                                                                                                        • Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience
                                                                                                                          • NI attractions
                                                                                                                            • Titanic Dock & Pump-House
                                                                                                                              • Ulster Museum
                                                                                                                                • Giant’s Causeway
                                                                                                                                  • Crawfordsburn Country Park
                                                                                                                                    • Belfast Botanic Gardens
                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – What Do People Visit?

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • RoI countryside shows most popular for 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Types of festival visited, RoI, 2011
                                                                                                                                        • NI consumers look to mainstream genres
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Types of festival visited, NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Rock, pop and dance festivals find a younger audience
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Visitors to rock, pop and dance festivals, by age, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Countryside fairs find favour with families
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Visitors to countryside fairs, by number of children, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Traditional Irish music finds a younger audience in RoI
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Visitors to traditional Irish music festivals, by age, RoI and NI, 2010
                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Length of Time Spent and Accommodation Used

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Day trips tie in with festival market
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Length of trip during last festival visit, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Younger adults in RoI make a longer break of it…
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Length of trip during last festival visit, by age, RoI, 2011
                                                                                                                                          • ... while sticking to shorter breaks in NI
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Length of trip during last festival visit, by age, NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                          • RoI consumers look to luxury accommodation for festivals
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Types of accommodation used during last festival visit, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Younger consumers happy to set up camp
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Use of onsite camping during last festival visit, by age, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Full-time workers splash out
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Use of hotels during last festival visit, by age, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Older consumers look to B&Bs
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Use of B&Bs during last festival visit, by age, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – How Do Consumers Perceive Festivals?

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Festivals regarded as expensive
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Agreement with selected statements about festivals and events, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Youngest adults find festivals expensive
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Agreement with the statement “Tickets for festivals are often too expensive”, by age, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Gap for older consumers in NI?
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Agreement with the statement “There is a good selection of festivals and events in Ireland”, by age, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Festival amenities fail to find favour across the spectrum
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Agreement with the statement “Facilities in festivals (such as toilets, camp sites) tend to be poor”, by age, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Younger consumers struggle to attend far-off festivals
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Agreement with the statement “Most of the festivals I would be interested in are too far away to get to”, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Who stays for the afterparty?
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Agreement with the statement “When travelling to a festival, I like to spend extra time in the area after the festival is over”, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – How Can Festivals Attract More Visitors?

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Lower pricing may attract more visitors
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Agreement with selected statements about festivals and events, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Students look for discount
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Agreement with the statement “I would go to more festivals if tickets were cheaper/if there was free entry”, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Broad base for expanding tourism
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Agreement with the statement “I would stay in the area of the festival for longer if there was lower cost accommodation”, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Younger consumers look for better accommodation
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Agreement with the statement “I would go to more festivals is there was more/better accommodation at the festival venues”, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                          • RoI target groups
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: RoI consumer typologies, 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Cheapos
                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                              • Who are Cheapos?
                                                                                                                                                                • Understanding Cheapos
                                                                                                                                                                  • Family Goers
                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                      • Who are Family Goers?
                                                                                                                                                                        • Understanding Family Goers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Transport Worried
                                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                              • Who are Transport Worried?
                                                                                                                                                                                • Understanding Transport Worried
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Facility Worried
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Who are Facility Worried?
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Understanding Facility Worried
                                                                                                                                                                                          • NI target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: NI consumer typologies, 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lower Pricers
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Who are Lower Pricers?
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Understanding Lower Pricers
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Unengaged
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Who are Unengaged?
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Understanding Unengaged
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Expensers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Who are Expensers?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Understanding Expensers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Selection
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Who are Selection?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Understanding Selection
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Population projections, NI, by gender, 2006-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Population projections, RoI, by gender, 2006-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Population projections, by age, NI, 2000-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Population projections, by age, RoI, 2000-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Pound to euro exchange rate used (annual average), 2004-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • NI Toluna demographic tables – Events, activities and festivals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Consumers who have visited a rock, pop and dance festival/event, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Consumers who have visited a classical music festival/event, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Consumers who have visited a traditional Irish music festival/event, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Consumers who have visited other contemporary music festival/event, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Consumers who have visited an arts festival/event, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Consumers who have visited a theatre festival/event, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Consumers who have visited a film festival/event, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Consumers who have visited a countryside fairs or show, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Consumers who have visited a food festival/event, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Consumers who have visited a family or kid’s festival/event, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Consumers who have visited other festival/events, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Number of nights stayed for a festival or event, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Type of accommodation used, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities (continued), by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities – what makes consumers visit them, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities – what makes consumers visit them (continued), by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • NI consumer typology tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities, by consumer types, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities – what makes consumers visit them, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Consumer types, by all demographics, NI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • RoI Toluna demographic tables – Events, activities and festivals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Consumers who have visited a rock, pop and dance festival/event, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Consumers who have visited a classical music festival/event, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Consumers who have visited a traditional Irish music festival/event, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Consumers who have visited other contemporary music festival/event, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Consumers who have visited an arts festival/event, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Consumers who have visited a theatre festival/event, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Consumers who have visited a film festival/event, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Consumers who have visited a countryside fairs or show, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Consumers who have visited a food festival/event, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Consumers who have visited a family or kid’s festival/event, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Consumers who have visited other festival/events, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Number of nights stayed for a festival or event, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Type of accommodation used, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 83: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities (continued), by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities – what makes consumers visit them, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities – what makes consumers visit them (continued), by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • RoI consumer typology tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 86: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities, by consumer types, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 87: Agreement with statements related to festivals, events and activities – what makes consumers visit them, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 88: Consumer types, by all demographics, RoI, August 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Events, Activities and Festival Tourism - Ireland - September 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)