4th November 2003
GULLIVER Ireland, an internet-based booking agent controlled by financial services group Fexco, yesterday announced a 7pc rise in booking results for the nine-month period to September 2003.
The web-based operator reported that 600,000 bednights were sold during the January to September period this year. This represents 95,000 bookings with a total value of some €18.3m.
Gulliver claims to be the world’s most widely used national booking system, with over 9,000 linked properties, or over 60pc of approved accommodation on the island.
It said the performance marks a 7pc increase on the value of bookings made in 2002 and a 17pc growth on 2001.
Online bookings to September 2003 were worth €6.7m, a 60pc increase on the same period in 2002.
Gulliver managing director Stewart Stephens said the Irish tourism industry can recover if it develops its online capability by building, investing in and implementing a focused internet strategy.
“Our own experience shows it is essential that Ireland Inc moves up the value chain by offering a more cost-effective, efficient and user-friendly tourism product.”
If it fails to do so, Mr Stephens added, Ireland and the tourism industry will be left behind as tourists turn to other locations.
The original Gulliver system was developed by Bord Fáilte and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Following a partnership agreement with Fexco in 1997, the financial services company acquired a majority shareholding in Gulliver.