Dubai: Since the announcement of visa free travel for Emiratis to Ireland in early 2018, dnata Travel, the UAE’s longest-standing travel provider, has experienced a 63.5% overall increase in year on year travel from the UAE to Ireland.
The report showed a dramatic 55% increase in travel arrangements made within 14 days in advance of travelling, including a 9% increase in bookings made within three days of travel, signifying the benefit of visa restrictions being lifted.
In addition, the statistics indicated a 9% increase in solo travellers, with room nights and average booking values also experiencing a year-on-year growth.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The draw of Ireland for GCC travellers was undeniable last year, and we’re proud to welcome more visitors to our country every year. Visa-free travel was a historic step for Ireland-Emirati relations, and we’re delighted that more people are able to see all that we hold dear to our hearts - be it the diverse and rich landscape, the welcoming locals, hearty cuisine, and the vibrant culture of the island.”
“We thank dnata Travel for being a key partner, as our collaborative efforts have proven extremely successful in the past year,” Gibbons added. “We look forward to continuing our joint efforts in 2019 and welcoming even more guests to Ireland.”
Antonio Fellino, Vice President of Retail, & eCommerce for dnata Travel UAE commented: “With a combination of stark landscape differences and striking cultural similarities, Ireland is becoming a hotspot for UAE travellers.”
Fellino continued: “Ireland provides the perfect setting year round for those looking to escape the desert heat to experience the lush green landscapes of the island. A truly family-focused destination, Ireland is popular with families and also couples, with 59% of travellers with us booking in pairs.”
The capital city of Dublin has proven itself to be the most popular destination for GCC travellers, showing an 80% increase in room night bookings, while counties Cork, Galway and Kerry have also shown growth in visitor numbers. New destinations with increased levels of interest in 2018 included Kilkenny, Donegal and Limerick.
The choice to visit both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has been driven by a number of intriguing elements. These range from outdoor travel - including activities such as hiking, trekking, and even surfing for more adventuristic travellers.
Ireland is also home to a number of filming locations, such as its impressive Skellig Michael featured in Star Wars, and the majority of the filming locations for the acclaimed television show, Game of Thrones, located in Northern Ireland.
The latest offers to Ireland from the UAE with dnata Travel in partnership with Tourism Ireland start from AED3,499 per person for a three-night stay plus return flights from Dubai to Dublin, the Irish capital. For more information, visit: www.dnatatravel.com and www.ireland.com
About Dnata Travel
Dnata Travel is the longest-standing travel provider in the UAE. Made up of over 200 retail outlets, a multi-lingual call centre and a multi-language and currency website, dnata Travel offers travelers a comprehensive range of travel products, including flights, hotels, holidays, tours, cruises, car hire, travel insurance and visa services, at competitive rates alongside excellent service.
For more information, visit: www.dnatatravel.com
About Tourism Ireland
- Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
- Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 281,000 people across the island.
- In 2017, we welcomed approximately 10.65 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.78 billion.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.3 million visitors in 2017
- Since January 2018, Ireland is now visa-free for UAE Nationals, meaning easier travel and easier access to the island of Ireland
- See more at: www.tourismireland.com
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