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Technology and Irish Tourism - Ireland - July 2014

“With internet-enabled mobile devices playing an increasingly prominent role in how consumers experience holidays, Irish tourism companies should look to make greater use of these devices’ GPS capability. This could help to generate awareness of Ireland’s less well-known sites and encourage consumers to venture off the beaten track for a more authentic experience.”
– James Wilson, Research Analyst

This report answers the following questions:

  • What sources are Irish consumers using to research ideas for holidays or short breaks?
  • How did Irish consumers book their last holiday of short break?
  • What opportunities does the high level of smartphone and tablet ownership hold for the Irish tourism sector?
  • How can Irish tourism companies use social networks and apps to promote their services?
  • Are there opportunities for a ‘tech-free’ tourism experience?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Key themes of the report
        • Definition
          • Data sources
            • Abbreviations
            • Executive Summary

                • Market factors
                  • Internet the main source for overseas visitors planning a holiday to Ireland
                    • Review websites used to plan short breaks, but fake reviews an issue
                      • Device ownership high in Ireland
                        • Tourism-related apps popular among Irish consumers
                          • Social networks a viable promotional channel for tourism companies
                            • Companies, brands and innovations
                              • The consumer
                                • RoI consumers staying ‘at home’ for short breaks
                                  • Figure 1: Where consumers took their last short break (one-to-three nights), by, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                • Europe the preferred holiday destination for Irish consumers
                                  • Figure 2: Consumers that took their last holiday (between four days and two weeks) in Europe, by demographics, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                • Review websites popular among Irish consumers
                                  • Figure 3: Online information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                • Family, friends and colleagues important offline sources
                                  • Figure 4: Consumers that have spoken to family/friends/colleagues to research holiday or short break ideas before the trip, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                • Online travel agents and comparison websites popular booking channels
                                  • Figure 5: Online sources used to book last holiday or short break, , NI and RoI, April 2014
                                • Desktop and laptop the main devices used to book holidays
                                  • Figure 6: Devices used to book last holiday or short trip, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                • Availability of Wi-Fi at tourism providers an important issue for Irish consumers
                                  • Figure 7: Agreement with statements relating to technology in Irish tourism, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                • What we think
                                • Issues and Insights

                                  • What sources are Irish consumers using to research ideas for holidays or short breaks?
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • How did Irish consumers book their last holiday of short break?
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • What opportunities does the high level of smartphone and tablet ownership hold for the Irish tourism sector?
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • How can Irish tourism companies use social networks and apps to promote their services?
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                          • Are there opportunities for a ‘tech-free’ tourism experience?
                                                            • The facts
                                                              • The implications
                                                              • Trend Application

                                                                  • Trend: Access All Areas
                                                                    • Trend: Switch Off
                                                                      • Trend: Influentials
                                                                      • Market Overview

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Internet remains a key channel for Irish tourism, but declines in influence
                                                                            • Figure 8: Information sources that influenced choice of Ireland as a holiday destination, by region, RoI, 2012-13
                                                                            • Figure 9: Information sources used when planning a holiday to Ireland, by region, RoI, 2012-13
                                                                          • Comparison and review websites key channels when planning short breaks
                                                                            • Figure 10: Sources used to plan a short break, NI and RoI, October 2013
                                                                          • Review fraud an issue for the travel industry
                                                                            • Ownership of internet-enabled mobile devices high in Ireland
                                                                              • Figure 11: Consumers who own, or have access to, mobile technology devices, NI and RoI, October 2013-May 2014
                                                                            • Consumers interested in using mobile devices to enhance tourism experience
                                                                              • Aviation authorities relaxing rules regarding use of devices during flights
                                                                                • Tourism-related apps popular among Irish consumers
                                                                                  • Figure 12: Types of tourism-related apps used on a smartphone, tablet or portable media player, NI and RoI, May 2013
                                                                                • Social networks a key channel for tourism companies
                                                                                  • Figure 13: Consumers that have used Facebook in the last three months, by demographics, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                • Social networks used to crowd source service improvements
                                                                                • Market in Context

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Case study: Delta Airlines
                                                                                      • Background
                                                                                        • How it uses technology
                                                                                          • Measuring the impact of technology
                                                                                            • Case study: Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail)
                                                                                              • Background
                                                                                                • How it uses technology to deliver its service
                                                                                                  • Measuring the impact of using technology
                                                                                                    • Case study: Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB)
                                                                                                      • Background
                                                                                                        • How it uses technology to deliver its service
                                                                                                          • Measuring the impact of using technology
                                                                                                            • Tourism Ireland
                                                                                                              • Background
                                                                                                                • How it uses technology to deliver its service
                                                                                                                  • Measuring the benefits of using technology
                                                                                                                    • Case study: Virgin Atlantic
                                                                                                                      • Background
                                                                                                                        • How it uses technology to deliver its service
                                                                                                                          • Measuring the impact of using technology
                                                                                                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                                                                            • Strengths
                                                                                                                              • Weaknesses
                                                                                                                              • Companies and Innovations

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Examples of innovation
                                                                                                                                    • Local flight comparison site launches in RoI
                                                                                                                                      • British Airways launches new booking app
                                                                                                                                        • Qantas trials location-based social listening
                                                                                                                                          • Tourism authorities
                                                                                                                                            • Fáilte Ireland
                                                                                                                                              • Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB)
                                                                                                                                                • Tourism Ireland
                                                                                                                                                  • Travel websites
                                                                                                                                                    • Expedia
                                                                                                                                                      • Groupon
                                                                                                                                                        • Hotels.com
                                                                                                                                                          • Lonely Planet
                                                                                                                                                            • TripAdvisor
                                                                                                                                                              • Airlines
                                                                                                                                                                • Aer Lingus
                                                                                                                                                                  • easyJet
                                                                                                                                                                    • Flybe
                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Last Holiday or Short Break Taken by Irish Consumers

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • Majority of Irish consumers took a holiday in the last 12 months
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 14: When consumers took their last holiday or short break either at home or abroad, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                        • Affluent consumers most likely to take a holiday or short break in the last three months
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Consumers that took their last holiday or short break less than three months ago either at home or abroad, by social class and marital status, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Financial health of Irish consumers, by social class, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                        • Unattached consumers have not taken a holiday in the last 18 months
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Consumers that haven not taken a holiday or short break in the last 18 months, by marital status, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                        • RoI consumers taking short breaks in Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 18: Where consumers took their last short break (one to three nights), NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                        • Irish short breaks have broad appeal among RoI consumers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Consumers that took their last short break (one to three nights) in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, by gender and age, N and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Consumers that took their last short break (one to three nights) in Europe, by age, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                        • Europe the preferred holiday destination for Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Where consumers took their last holiday (between four days and two weeks), by demographics, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                        • European holidays popular among consumers with children
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Consumers that took their last holiday (between four days and two weeks) in Europe, by presence of children in the household, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Online Sources Used to Research Holiday or Short Break Ideas

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Customer review websites the main online research channel for Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Online information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Young Irish consumers the main users of customer review and travel company websites
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Consumers that used customer review websites, travel company websites and searched for online photos to research holiday or short break ideas (eg potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by age, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Consumers that used customer review websites, travel company websites and searched for online photos to research holiday or short break ideas (eg potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by age, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Deals websites popular with Irish women
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Consumers that used deals websites to research holiday or short break ideas (eg potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by gender and social class, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Offline Sources Used to Research Holiday or Short Break Ideas

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Family and friends a key offline source for holiday ideas
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Offline information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, NI and RoI April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                            • NI students most likely to seek family and friends’ advice when researching holiday ideas
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Consumers that have spoken to family/friends/colleagues to research holiday or short break ideas before the trip, by work status, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                            • NI Millennials and Boomers both using printed holiday brochures to research ideas
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Offline Information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg. potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by age, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Offline Information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by age, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Online Sources Used to Book Last Holiday or Short Break

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Transport company websites key booking channel for RoI consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Online sources used to book last holiday or short break, by demographics, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                              • Millennials book last holiday via online travel agents and comparison websites
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Online sources used to book last holiday or short break, by age, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Online sources used to book last holiday or short break, by age, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Device Used To Book Last Holiday or Short Break

                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                • Desktop the main device used to book a holiday or short break
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Devices used to book last holiday or short break, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                • Desktops and laptops used by all to book holidays and short breaks.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Devices used to book last holiday or short break, by age, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Devices used to book last holiday or short break, by age, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Technology in Irish Tourism

                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wi-Fi a must for Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Agreement with statements relating to technology in Irish tourism, by demographics, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Provision of Wi-Fi most important to NI students
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Agreement with the statement 'Wi-Fi is a must at tourism providers, hotels and attractions', by work status, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                  • On-the-go reviews appeal to consumers with children
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Agreement with the statement 'Accessing customer reviews on-the-go would encourage me to visit more restaurants and attractions', by presence of children in the household, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Young RoI consumers most likely to use smartphone GPS to explore
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Agreement with the statement ‘The GPS capability of smartphones could encourage me to explore destinations I visit’, by age, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Young consumers uploading comments and photos while at tourist sites
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Agreement with the statement 'I like to upload photos/comments while visiting tourist sites, hotels and attractions', by gender and age, NI and RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                                  • NI Toluna data
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: When consumers took their last holiday or short break either at home or abroad, by demographics, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Where consumers took their last short break, by demographics, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Where consumers took their last holiday, by demographics, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: How long before last holiday or short break that consumers booked the trip, by demographics, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Online information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg. potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by demographics, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Online information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg. potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by demographics, NI, April 2014 (Continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Offline information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg. potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by demographics, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Offline information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg. potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by demographics, NI, April 2014 (Continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Online sources used to book last holiday or short break, by demographics, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Online sources used to book last holiday or short break, by demographics, NI, April 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Devices used to book last holiday or short trip, by demographics, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Agreement with statements relating to technology and tourism, by demographics, NI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Agreement with statements relating to technology and tourism, by demographics, NI, April 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Agreement with statements relating to technology and tourism, by demographics, NI, April 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                  • RoI Toluna data
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: When consumers took their last holiday or short break either at home or abroad, by demographics, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Where consumers took their last short break, by demographics, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Where consumers took their last holiday, by demographics, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: How long before last holiday or short break that consumers booked the trip, by demographics, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Online information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by demographics, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Online information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by demographics, RoI, April 2014 (Continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Offline Information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg. potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by demographics, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Offline Information sources used to research holiday or short break ideas (eg. potential hotels, excursions, attractions) before the trip, by demographics, RoI, April 2014 (Continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Online sources used to book last holiday or short break, by demographics, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Online sources used to book last holiday or short break, by demographics, RoI, April 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Online sources used to book last holiday or short break, by demographics, RoI, April 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Devices used to book last holiday or short trip, by demographics, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Agreement with statements relating to technology and tourism, by demographics, RoI, April 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Agreement with statements relating to technology and tourism, by demographics, RoI, April 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Agreement with statements relating to technology and tourism, by demographics, RoI, April 2014 (continued)

                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                                                Technology and Irish Tourism - Ireland - July 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)