Walking is first for tourists

Boon Agency

While tourism is booming, there is still a MASSIVE opportunity for growth. Expenditure by tourists visiting Ireland in 2016 was an estimated €6.6 billion, this represents a 9.5% increase on 2015. If you factor in tourism revenue generated by Irish residents taking a trip here, this figure jumps to €8.3 billion.

Impressive numbers for sure, but if you compare it to the rest of the economy, and look at Travel and Tourism’s total contribution to GDP and Employment, we rank 52nd and 122nd in the world respectively. These figures may be skewed due to the massive amounts of FDI in the economy, but the forecast is bright. By 2027, international tourist arrivals are forecast to total 15,437,000, generating expenditure of €15.9bn, an increase of 4.1% per annum.

As tourist numbers continue to grow, it may surprise you to learn that the no. 1 reason people are visiting Ireland is to walk and to hike. In 2016, over two million tourists came to Ireland to walk and hike. Compare this to 400,000 for cycling, 193,000 for Golf and 131,000 for Angling.

“With its spectacular coastline and its endless swells of emerald hills scattered with ancient ruins, Ireland was made to be explored on foot”

– National Geographic.

At Boon, we create destination based apps that present walks and hikes in the context of the local community, offering tourists the opportunity to find local accommodation, restaurants and attractions along their route and stay longer in the area. Major investment is planned in the creation of Greenways and Blueways as part of the National Development Plan. We want to help communities to keep these tourists for just a little bit longer.

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