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Ireland Outdoor Activities Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Outdoor Activities market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

Outdoor activities are recreational activities engaged in out of doors, most commonly in natural settings. Outdoor activities include visiting national parks, fishing, camping, snowboarding and hiking among others. The activities themselves, such as fishing, hiking and sailing for example, characteristically determine where these activities are undertaken.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by James Wilson, a leading analyst in the Leisure sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Irish consumers show a preference for leisurely activities over activities that are more physically demanding. This suggests that they are looking to unwind when taking part in outdoor pursuits. Activities that enable Irish consumers to escape their increasingly busier lifestyles, reconnect with the ‘real world’ and relax will hold strong appeal James Wilson
Leisure Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in the Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 1: Estimated value of outdoor activities, NI and RoI, 2014-19
          • Forecast
            • Figure 2: Indexed estimated value of outdoor activities, NI and RoI, 2014-24
          • Market factors
            • Tourism growth a positive for outdoor activity providers
              • Outdoor activities can help alleviate consumers’ stress
                • Better weather provides growth opportunities for outdoor activities sector
                  • Irish consumers’ spending power continues to decline
                    • Companies, brands and innovations
                      • The consumer
                        • Consumers show preference for relaxing outdoor activities
                          • Figure 3: Participation in outdoor activities, NI and RoI, March 2019
                        • Irish consumers regularly walk and hike
                          • Figure 4: Frequency of engaging in outdoor activities, NI and RoI, March 2019
                        • Participation in outdoor activities impacted by weather conditions
                          • Figure 5: Attitudes towards outdoor activities, NI and RoI, March 2019
                        • What we think
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • 2019 to see value of outdoor activities market increase
                            • Cost of equipment for outdoor activities falling in RoI, increasing in NI
                              • Irish consumers less financially secure
                                • Improving weather conditions positive for outdoor activities sector
                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                    • Outdoor activity sector to grow in 2019
                                      • Figure 6: Estimated value of outdoor activities, IoI, NI and RoI, 2014-24
                                    • Growth in outdoor activity sector expected to continue through to 2024
                                      • Figure 7: Indexed estimated value of outdoor activities, NI and RoI, 2014-24
                                  • Market Drivers

                                    • Outdoor activity equipment prices rising in the UK/NI
                                      • Figure 8: Consumer price inflation (CPI) vs equipment for sport and open-air recreation, UK (including NI), April 2018-April 2019
                                      • Figure 9: Consumer price inflation (CPI) vs equipment for sport and open-air recreation, RoI, April 2018-April 2019
                                    • Squeeze on personal finances continues in 2019
                                      • Figure 10: Financial health of Irish consumers, NI, March 2018 and March 2019
                                      • Figure 11: Financial health of Irish consumers, RoI, March 2018 and March 2019
                                    • Visitor numbers to Ireland continue growing
                                      • Figure 12: Estimated total visitor numbers, IoI, NI, and RoI, 2014-24
                                    • Higher stress levels an opportunity for outdoor activity providers
                                      • Figure 13: Consumers who report being stressed at work, RoI, 2010 and 2015
                                      • Figure 14: Consumers taking part in exercise or playing sport to deal with anxiety or stress, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                    • Weather conditions improving across Ireland
                                      • Figure 15: Weather data, annual average figures, NI, 2014-18
                                      • Figure 16: Weather data, annual average figures, RoI, 2014-18
                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                    • Center Parcs opens first Irish holiday park
                                      • Fáilte Ireland invests in Kylemore Abbey
                                        • Food becoming a focus area of outdoor tourism
                                          • Irish outdoor activity providers considering inclusivity strategies
                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                            • Challenge-based activities taking hold amongst Irish consumers
                                              • Water parks gaining traction across Ireland
                                                • Ski Club of Ireland offering walking activities
                                                • Competitive Strategies – Key Players

                                                    • Tourism authorities
                                                      • Tourism Ireland
                                                        • Key facts
                                                          • Promoting outdoor activities
                                                            • Recent developments
                                                              • Tourism NI
                                                                • Key facts
                                                                  • Promoting outdoor activities
                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                      • Fáilte Ireland
                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                          • Promoting outdoor activities
                                                                            • Recent developments
                                                                              • Ireland Association for Adventure Tourism (IAAT)
                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                  • Promoting outdoor activities
                                                                                    • Outdoor Recreation NI
                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                        • Promoting outdoor activities
                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                            • Outdoor activity operators
                                                                                              • Belfast Zoological Gardens
                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                  • Activities
                                                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                                                      • Center Parcs Longford
                                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                                          • Activities
                                                                                                            • Recent developments
                                                                                                              • Dublin Zoo
                                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                                  • Activities
                                                                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                                                                      • Extreme Ireland Adventures
                                                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                                                          • Activities
                                                                                                                            • Ireland Walk Hike Bike
                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                • Activities
                                                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                    • Jungle NI
                                                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                                                        • Activities
                                                                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                            • Lahinch Surf School
                                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                • Activities
                                                                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                    • Vagabond
                                                                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                        • Activities
                                                                                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                            • Leisurely activities favoured by Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                              • Irish consumers regularly taking part in walking and hiking activities
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumers want to take part in more outdoor activities but cost is a barrier
                                                                                                                                                                • Participation in Outdoor Activities

                                                                                                                                                                    • Parks and beaches popular outdoor activities
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Participation in outdoor activities, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                    • Parks and forest parks popular among Millennials
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Consumers who have visited parks and forest parks in the last 12 months, by generation, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                    • Participation in outdoor activities tied to affluence
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Participation in outdoor activities, by social class, NI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Participation in outdoor activities, by social class, RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                  • Frequency of Participating in Outdoor Activities

                                                                                                                                                                      • Walking and hiking the outdoor activity of choice for Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Frequency of engaging in outdoor activities, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                      • Parks and forest parks popular among younger consumers
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Frequency consumers have visited a park/forest park in the last 12 months, by generation, RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                      • City dwellers show preference for walking and hiking in urban areas
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Frequency consumers have walked/hiked in a city/town in the last 12 months, by area, RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Frequency consumers have walked/hiked in the countryside in the last 12 months, by area, RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Outdoor Activities

                                                                                                                                                                        • Weather prevents outdoor activity participation
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Attitudes towards outdoor activities, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                        • Women looking for family-oriented outdoor activities
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Agreement with the statement ‘I prefer outdoor activities that are suitable for my whole family’, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                        • Outdoor activities influence young consumers’ holiday destination
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Agreement with the statement ‘I often choose where to go on holiday based on which outdoor activities I wish to undertake’, by age, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                        • Affluent consumers favour local providers for outdoor activities
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Agreement with the statement ‘I would take part in more outdoor activities if they were available in my local area’, by social class, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like more information about the outdoor activities in my local area’, by social class, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                          • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                                                                                                            • Abbreviations