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Food Tourism - Ireland - May 2009

The food tourism market outperformed the overall tourism market between 2003 and 2007, but neither has been immune to the effects of the global economic slowdown which has caused the value of the food tourism market to decline by 4% in 2008, and the value of the broader tourism market to decline by 3%.

Amid the difficulties of the current economic backdrop the key question remains; will the predicted decline in levels of overseas tourists be offset by greater levels of domestic tourism in the coming year, and will remaining tourists be willing to spend on eating out, or will they look for lower cost options such as self-catering?

A key issue is whether market participants will even survive to cater for tourism, with a decline in the equally important local market.

This report investigates whether Ireland actually has a specific food tourism industry, if Irish food is indeed even a draw for tourists, or is food just a minor part of the tourist’s experience in Ireland.

Key themes

  • How important is the food dimension when holidaying in Ireland?

  • How does Ireland measure up as a food destination internationally?

  • Where do Irish consumers prefer to eat when holidaying at home?

  • What are the key promotional outlets for food tourism?

  • Are Irish consumers showing an affinity for food?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Insights and Opportunities

            • Gourmet takeaway
              • Irish cuisine
                • Celebrity cooking school
                  • Take on the wine tour
                  • Market in Brief

                    • Food tourism market worth €2.2 billion
                      • Food tourism faces strong competition from home and abroad
                        • Local independent restaurants are the top choice
                          • Standards rise with income
                            • Demographic patterns suit food tourism
                              • Economic conditions show mixed signals
                                • Internet is the key channel to market
                                • Fast Forward Trends

                                    • Trend 1: The Next Media Revolution?
                                      • What's it about?
                                        • What we've seen
                                          • What next?
                                            • Trend 2: That’s (Home) Entertainment
                                              • What's it about?
                                                • What we've seen
                                                  • What next?
                                                  • Internal Market Environment

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Measuring diner satisfaction
                                                        • Figure 1: Satisfaction rating with selected food service establishments in RoI, 2007
                                                      • B&Bs challenge hotels
                                                        • Quality restaurants are worth the extra spend
                                                          • Pub grub finds favour
                                                            • Entertaining at home shows potential for cookery schools
                                                              • Figure 2: Agreement with selected statements, 2003-08
                                                            • Festivals a big hit
                                                              • It’s not just the Irish with a fascination for drink
                                                                • We can’t help the weather, but what about the price?
                                                                  • Figure 3: Most cited disadvantages of holidaying in RoI, 2003-07
                                                                • Céad Míle Fáilte! (One Hundred Thousand Welcomes!)
                                                                  • Figure 4: Very satisfied response on selected tourist issues in RoI, 2003-07
                                                                • Public spending on marketing Ireland proves effective
                                                                  • Figure 5: Expenditure on marketing, by Irish tourism authorities, 2006-07
                                                                • Taxation reduces competitiveness
                                                                  • Environmental concern
                                                                  • Broader Market Environment

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Economic environment
                                                                        • Figure 6: Economic outlook for NI and RoI, 2008-10
                                                                      • RoI
                                                                        • NI
                                                                          • Consumer confidence hits a low
                                                                            • Figure 7: Consumer Sentiment/Confidence Index for 12 months ended February 2009
                                                                          • Mixed signals for Irish tourism in the recession
                                                                            • Figure 8: Consumer responses to statement ‘When feeling the pinch, which of these are you most likely to do when trying to cut back your personal spending?’, NI and RoI*, January 2008
                                                                          • Exchange rates a boost for NI
                                                                            • Figure 9: Euro/US Dollar and Euro/Sterling exchange rates, Jan 2007-Apr 2009
                                                                          • Internet usage
                                                                            • Figure 10: Internet and broadband penetration, RoI and NI, 2005-08
                                                                          • An aging population
                                                                            • Figure 11: Population projections, by age group, NI, 2006-26
                                                                            • Figure 12: Population projections, by age group, RoI, 2006-26
                                                                          • Two for tea
                                                                            • Figure 13: Household size, NI and RoI, 2000-05
                                                                        • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                          • Strengths
                                                                            • Weaknesses
                                                                            • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                              • Paradiso – Creating a vegetarian brand
                                                                                • Floating restaurants
                                                                                  • A theatrical dinner
                                                                                    • Medieval banquet
                                                                                      • Healthy eating holidays
                                                                                        • STA Travel and Burger King’s new venture
                                                                                          • The new New Zealand
                                                                                          • Market Value and Forecast

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Rapid growth for NI tourism
                                                                                                • Figure 14: Index of tourist market value, 2003-09
                                                                                              • Irish tourism revenues exceed €7 billion
                                                                                                • Figure 15: Tourism market value, Ireland, 2003-09
                                                                                              • RoI attracts long haul visitors
                                                                                                • Figure 16: Tourists by region of origin, RoI, 2007
                                                                                              • NI still heavily reliant on UK market
                                                                                                • Figure 17: Tourist by region of origin, NI, 2007
                                                                                              • NI food tourism exceeds all-island pace
                                                                                                • Figure 18: Index of market value of tourist spending on food, Ireland, 2003-09
                                                                                              • Food becoming a bigger priority for tourists
                                                                                                • Figure 19: Tourist spending on food, Ireland, 2003-09
                                                                                              • Poor signals for Irish tourism in the recession…
                                                                                                • …but stability to come from the NI market
                                                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Irish tourism competitive context
                                                                                                      • Low cost flights
                                                                                                        • Ferry and domestic tourism fighting over ease of travel
                                                                                                          • Food tourism competitive context
                                                                                                            • Foreign destinations have the reputation
                                                                                                              • Self-catering
                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Tourists using rented accommodation while holidaying in Ireland, RoI and NI, 2004-07
                                                                                                              • Outdoor activities
                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Main activities while holidaying in Ireland, RoI and NI, 2007
                                                                                                            • Channels to Market

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Internet vs travel agent
                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Agreement with statement, ‘When I need information, the first place I look is the internet’, NI and RoI, 2003-08
                                                                                                                • Food festivals
                                                                                                                • Companies and Brands

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Fáilte Ireland
                                                                                                                      • ITIC (Irish Tourist Industry Confederation)
                                                                                                                        • NITB (Northern Ireland Tourist Board)
                                                                                                                          • Tourism Ireland
                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Tourism Ireland offices and market agent locations, 2009
                                                                                                                            • Good Food Ireland
                                                                                                                              • Food Promotion Northern Ireland
                                                                                                                                • Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
                                                                                                                                  • Ballymaloe House and Cookery School
                                                                                                                                    • Michael Deane
                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Dining Preferences while on Holiday in Ireland

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Local independent restaurants are the tourist’s top choice
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Most likely place to eat a main meal while holidaying in Ireland, NI and RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Quality increases with age
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Most likely place to eat while holidaying in Ireland, by age, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Most likely place to eat while holidaying in Ireland, by age, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                        • High earners avoid the chip shop
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Most likely place to eat while holidaying in Ireland, by socio-economic group, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Most likely place to eat while holidaying in Ireland, by socio-economic group, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Role of Food in the Tourist Experience

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • It’s quality, not quantity
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Agreement with selected statements about food eaten on holidays in Ireland, RoI and NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Younger adults remain uninterested
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Agreement with selected statements about food eaten on holidays in Ireland, by age, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Agreement with selected statements about food eaten on holidays in Ireland, by age, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                          • The more affluent can afford to be more choosy
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer Typologies

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • RoI target groups
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Consumer typologies relating to attitudes towards food tourism, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Food Nuts
                                                                                                                                                • Markers
                                                                                                                                                  • Jet Setters
                                                                                                                                                    • Not Fussed
                                                                                                                                                      • NI target groups
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Consumer typologies relating to attitudes towards food tourism, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Local Samplers
                                                                                                                                                        • Non-Tourists
                                                                                                                                                          • Food Buffs
                                                                                                                                                            • Non-Fooders
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Agreement with selected statements about food eaten on holidays, by socio-economic group, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Agreement with selected statements about food eaten on holidays, RoI and NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Statements that apply to food when on a short break in Ireland, by all demographics, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Statements that apply to food when on a short break in Ireland, by all demographics, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer typologies
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Agreement with statements relating to food eaten while on holiday in Ireland, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Agreement with statements relating to types of food eaten while on holiday in Ireland, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Factors that motivate consumers to take a holiday/short break in Ireland, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: NI typologies, by all demographics, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Agreement with statements relating to food eaten while on holiday in Ireland, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Agreement with statements relating to types of food eaten while on holiday in Ireland, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Factors that motivate consumers to take a holiday/short break in Ireland, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: NI typologies, by all demographics, NI, 2009

                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

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

                                                                                                                                                            Food Tourism - Ireland - May 2009

                                                                                                                                                            £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)