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Outdoor Activities and Visitor Attractions - Ireland - December 2010

In response to increasing demand for data concerning the dynamic economy and growth markets of Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland, Mintel has developed a series of reports covering a wide variety of sectors within both of these dynamic regions. Each one provides detailed coverage of key drivers as well as providing the very latest volume and value data. Also included are assessments of emerging trends, the activities of existing market players, brand ownership details, supply structures, future scenarios and statistical forecasts.

The Irish Series is segmented in the same manner as Mintel's UK reports, namely Finance, Leisure, Market, Retail and 'Specials'. This provides unparalleled coverage and will be a must for all companies who are either already active in this region, or will be looking to enter these distinct marketplaces in the future.

This report has been produced as part of Mintel's Irish Series and is sold in Ireland exclusively through our sales agency, OCO Consulting, based in Belfast.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes in this report
        • Definitions
          • Consumer research
            • Abbreviations
            • Future Opportunities

              • Re-developing ‘Brand Ireland’
                • Making OAVA worth it
                  • A bleak outlook for tourism overall
                    • Scope for development exists in a number of areas
                      • OAVAs – a valuable part of the overall tourism industry
                        • Many Irish consumers are staying at home
                          • Age is dictating participation
                            • Reduced travel overall has mixed benefits
                              • The most popular visitor attractions are the most innovative
                              • Internal Market Environment

                                • Key points
                                  • Overseas visitor numbers and spend are falling
                                    • Figure 1: Total number of overseas visitors to Ireland, 2005-09
                                  • And their spending fell too
                                    • Impact of the fall in spending is mixed
                                      • OAVAs are an important element for overseas tourists
                                        • Cultural heritage a strong influencing factor when deciding which country to visit
                                          • Figure 2: Major influences on choice of holiday destination, by Europeans in selected markets, 2008
                                        • Outdoor activities are also a key draw
                                          • Figure 3: Importance of factors when considering Ireland for a holiday (very important) for overseas visitors to RoI, 2009
                                        • Scope for higher numbers of domestic and cross-border visitors
                                          • Overall usage of OAVAs quite low among domestic visitors
                                            • Figure 4: Activities most enjoyed when on holiday/short break, NI and RoI, 2010
                                          • RoI consumers need more encouragement to take short breaks
                                            • Fewer foreign trips now being taken by Irish consumers
                                              • Figure 5: Visits and expenditure by consumers when taking a holiday overseas, RoI, 2003-09
                                            • NI successful in the push for cross-border tourism
                                              • OAVA market in NI has potential for growth
                                                • OAVAs currently more popular in RoI than in NI
                                                  • Figure 6: Activities enjoyed on holidays/short breaks, RoI and NI, 2010
                                                • OAVAs should be an easy sell to NI consumers
                                                  • The time is right to build on the ‘staycation’ trend
                                                    • Exploit their guilty feelings
                                                      • … and encourage them to ‘Buy Irish’
                                                        • Effective online marketing is vital
                                                          • Tourists are researching and booking their holiday online
                                                            • Figure 7: Method used to book holidays/short breaks, NI and RoI, 2010
                                                          • Funding of OAVAs could be under threat
                                                            • Reliance on centrally-funded government poses economic risk for OAVAs
                                                              • Figure 8: Type of ownership of top 20 attractions and percentage of all visitors to those attractions, NI, 2009
                                                              • Figure 9: Local government spending (projected), £ billion, 2010-15
                                                              • Figure 10: Type of ownership of top 20 attractions and percentage of all visitors to those attractions, RoI, 2009
                                                            • Maintaining excellence in customer service will bolster inherent strengths
                                                              • Quality assurance scheme helps improve service from visitor attractions
                                                                • Using other media to generate consumer interest
                                                                  • Interest in TV restoration programmes prompting a renewed interest in culture and heritage – and the visitor attractions market
                                                                  • Broader Market Environment

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Public spending cuts on the way
                                                                        • The recession refuses to loosen its grip
                                                                          • Figure 11: Economic outlook, NI and RoI, 2008-10
                                                                        • RoI – an economy in crisis
                                                                          • NI economy set to recover, albeit slowly
                                                                            • Disposable incomes set to decline even further
                                                                              • Further pressure will be put on spending
                                                                                • Figure 12: Consumer sentiment and consumer confidence indices, RoI and UK, October 2009-October 2010
                                                                              • Cuts in consumer spending are impacting OAVA
                                                                                • Consumers say they have cut back on short breaks and holidays
                                                                                  • Figure 13: Areas consumers have cut back on spending in the last 12 months, RoI and NI, July 2010
                                                                                • Demographics are a key consideration for OAVA
                                                                                  • Age group 35-54 are biggest OAVA users
                                                                                    • Figure 14: Consumers that actively enjoy visiting natural sites while on holidays/short breaks, RoI and NI, 2010
                                                                                  • Aging population indicates future potential market growth
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Population projections, by age group, RoI and NI, 2006-26
                                                                                  • Let’s hope for good weather
                                                                                    • Weather influences choice of holiday destination
                                                                                      • Figure 16: Irish weather data – annual average figures, NI and RoI, 2005-09
                                                                                  • Competitive Context

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Competition strong from overseas markets
                                                                                        • Global tourism numbers decreasing overall, in turn driving international competition
                                                                                          • Figure 17: Activities undertaken, by US travellers in Europe, 2008
                                                                                        • Trips abroad by Irish people see Q4 stabilisation
                                                                                          • Economic difficulties proving the biggest competitive threat
                                                                                            • Spend on leisure (especially out-of-home) is being cut
                                                                                              • Staying near home is attractive to most
                                                                                                • Dining out most attractive
                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Participation in leisure activities, NI and RoI, 2010
                                                                                                • Cinema still captivates
                                                                                                  • The lure of indoors is strong
                                                                                                    • In-home entertainment also very attractive
                                                                                                      • Staying in, with Wii and games for company
                                                                                                      • Market Overview

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • A market in the midst of change
                                                                                                            • Overall, the value of the tourism market continues to decline
                                                                                                              • Figure 19: Expenditure by tourists (overseas and domestic) in Ireland, 2004-10
                                                                                                            • Value of domestic tourism mixed
                                                                                                              • More RoI residents holidaying in NI
                                                                                                                • Value for money in RoI appeals to NI tourists
                                                                                                                  • Where our visitors came from and why they came
                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Origin of visitor to Ireland, and purpose of visit, 2009
                                                                                                                  • The potential value of OAVA is high
                                                                                                                    • Tourist spending is strong in this area
                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Breakdown of spend, by overseas tourists to RoI, € millions, 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Breakdown of spend, by overseas tourists to NI, £ millions, 2009
                                                                                                                    • OAVA very popular among overseas visitors
                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Total number of overseas visitors’ participation in OAVAs, RoI and NI, 2009
                                                                                                                    • Fee-paying visitor attractions more popular in RoI, despite high prices
                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Number of visitors to top 10 fee-paying and free attractions, and basic adult fee for top 10 fee-paying attractions, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                    • Lower admission prices in NI fail to win visitors from free visitor attractions
                                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Number of visitors to top 10 fee-paying and free attractions, and basic adult fee for top 10 fee-paying attractions, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                    • Outdoor activities generating participation and spend
                                                                                                                      • Domestic market very strong in RoI
                                                                                                                        • Figure 26: Outdoor activities engaged in, by overseas and domestic holidaymakers, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                      • Ground to be gained in NI
                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Outdoor activities engaged in, by overseas holidaymakers, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                      • Activity tourists more valuable in RoI
                                                                                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Encouraging a sense of ownership between the visitor and the attraction
                                                                                                                            • Make your mark on the Storehouse
                                                                                                                              • Sponsor a stone
                                                                                                                                • Adopt an orangutan
                                                                                                                                  • Time to impress our visitors
                                                                                                                                    • State of the art visitor centres with the wow factor
                                                                                                                                      • Using technology to capture their imagination
                                                                                                                                        • Keep in touch, even after they leave
                                                                                                                                          • Using social media
                                                                                                                                            • Keep them in the loop with an e-zine
                                                                                                                                              • Running other events from the attraction
                                                                                                                                                • Promoting the outdoors – offline and online
                                                                                                                                                  • New activities spark more interest
                                                                                                                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Tourism bodies
                                                                                                                                                        • Tourism Ireland
                                                                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                            • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                              • Failte Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                                    • Northern Ireland Tourist Board
                                                                                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                        • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                                          • Outdoor activities and visitor attractions
                                                                                                                                                                            • Guinness Storehouse
                                                                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Dublin Zoo
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Titanic Dock and Pump House
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Giant’s Causeway
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ailwee Caves
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • W5
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Barry’s Amusements
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Xtreme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • The Jungle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Organisations which promote outdoor activities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cycling Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • The Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Irish Ladies Golfing Union of Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • CAAN (Countryside Access & Activities Network)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • National Trails Office
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Product marketing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – Usage of Outdoor Activities and Visitor Attractions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • RoI residents visit more attractions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Percentage of respondents that have visited selected attractions in the last 12 months, RoI and NI, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • More people in RoI are visiting attractions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • But numbers are in decline in NI
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Visitors to selected attractions in respective regions, NI and RoI, 2005-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Zoos and wildlife parks are increasingly popular in RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Other places of natural interest attract NI visitors
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Activities Enjoyed While on Holidays

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Being at home is the most popular spare time activity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumers scramble for cover in the recession
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Age an important element in deciding how to spend free time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Age currently influences the decision to stay at home
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Agreed with statement: “I prefer to relax at home during my free time”, by age, RoI and NI, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fitness more important to younger people
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Agreed with statement: “I value activities that promote fitness”, RoI and NI, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cost is crucial
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cost a significant issue for most when it comes to free time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Pricing in RoI still perceived to be high
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Agreed with statement: “Food and drink at events/visitor attractions is often overpriced”, by age, RoI and NI, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Outdoor activities are second most popular way to spend free time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • More ABC1s are active
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Men are more interested in the outdoors
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • RoI target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Consumer target groups, RoI, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Couch Potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Outdoor Adventurers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bargain Visitors
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Non-participants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • NI target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Consumer target groups, NI, June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Home Birds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Energetic Explorers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Local Supporters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Family-centric
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Areas consumers have cut back on spending in the last 12 months, by demographics, NI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Areas consumers have cut back on spending in the last 12 months, by demographics, NI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Areas consumers have cut back on spending in the last 12 months, by demographics, RoI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Areas consumers have cut back on spending in the last 12 months, by demographics, RoI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Activities enjoyed when on holiday/short break, by demographic breakdown, NI, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Activities enjoyed when on holiday/short break, by demographic breakdown, NI, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Activities enjoyed when on holiday/short break, by demographic breakdown, RoI, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Activities enjoyed when on holiday/short break, by demographic breakdown, RoI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Activities enjoyed when on holiday/short break, by demographic breakdown, RoI, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Selected exhibitions and outings visited in the last 12 months, NI, 2005-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Selected exhibitions and outings visited in the last 12 months, RoI, 2005-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Agreement with statements relating to outdoor activities and visitor attractions, by demographic breakdown, RoI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Agreement with statements relating to outdoor activities and visitor attractions, by demographic breakdown, RoI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Agreement with statements relating to outdoor activities and visitor attractions, by demographic breakdown, NI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Agreement with statements relating to outdoor activities and visitor attractions, by demographic breakdown, NI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • RoI consumer typologies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Consumer typologies, RoI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Consumer typologies, by demographics, RoI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • NI consumer typologies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Consumer typologies, NI, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Consumer typologies, NI, July 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Outdoor Activities and Visitor Attractions - Ireland - December 2010

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