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 thatmore 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
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