Summer Tourism Bookings Rise by 65 Per Cent
GoIreland.com Photography Awards 2005 Deadline Approaches
Irish summer tourism bookings rose by 65 per cent which were fuelled by domestic holidaymaker and UK tourist spending, according to Gulliver Ireland, Ireland's leading cost effective provider of tourism information and reservations. The latest summer tourism figures were revealed today (Tuesday, 6th September 2005) as the company announced that there are three days to the GoIreland.com Photography Awards 2005 entry deadline.
The photography awards entry deadline is Friday, 9th September 2005. Held in association with The Hinde Group, the awards invite Irish holidaymakers and visiting tourists to capture a photograph epitomising contemporary Ireland since John Hinde's world-famous series of iconic photographic images.
The inaugural awards feature three categories, scenery, people and places, and entries are made online by visiting www.goireland.com. Further information is available by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than 40 per cent of the awards entrants to date are from Ireland, according to Gulliver Ireland. Both the US and the UK are neck and neck in joint second place while Canada, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and Austria are also among the Top 10 countries from where entrants come from.
The Hinde Group will reproduce the overall winning photograph as an original postcard. The winning image will also feature on the new-look GoIreland.com website. The winning photographer will win a Nikon D70 S digital camera. Regional award winners will receive a selection of Irish short break holidays.
Gulliver Ireland also reported that GoIreland.com's summer booking figures (June to August 2005) grew by 65 per cent on 2004. Almost 52,000 bednights were sold during the three-month period around the country which were valued at more that €2 million.
Summer tourism booking growth was fuelled by domestic holidaymakers and UK tourists, according to Gulliver. Irish holidaymaker bookings jumped by 112 per cent while 50 per cent more UK tourist bookings were recorded compared with last summer. Tourists from the US, Italy, and France also contributed to significant summer accommodation booking growth.
Hotel sector bookings benefited by a massive 109 per cent growth on last summer. Self-catering (48 per cent) and B&B (42 per cent) sector bookings also experienced strong growth. More than 580,000 unique visitors visited the GoIreland.com website during the summer months, a rise of 23 per cent on last year.
GoIreland.com, the most booked Gulliver-powered website this year, has sold more than 122,000 bednights, valued at nearly €4.5 million, to date this year. Volume booking growth has risen 50 per cent on the same period last year.
Chairman of the GoIreland.com Photography Awards 2005 Judging Panel, Dick Spring, Gulliver Ireland's Chairman, said, "Entries to date for the inaugural GoIreland.com Photography Awards have exceeded the Judging Panel's expectations. Amateur photographers from across Ireland and throughout the world have taken up the awards challenge.
"With Ireland, the UK and the US leading the top ten nations from where entrants come from, it is difficult to predict at this point which part of the world the winner will come from. Amateur photographers still have time to enter the awards where the quality of the entry, in terms of creative thought and technical execution, will be a key judging criterion," added Dick Spring.
Niall Howard, Group Chief Executive, The Hinde Group, said, "We are delighted with the response from all over the world and hope the winning entry will go on to be as famous as the 'Collecting Turf' postcard."
For further information, please contact:
Corinne Culloty, Marketing Manager, Gulliver Ireland
Telephone: (066) 9792112
Barry Ahern, Business Management Communications
Telephone: (01) 4830832/ (087) 6683574
Notes to Editors:
A breakdown of the GoIreland.com Summer Tourism Booking Figures is available upon request.
Gulliver Ireland, which is headquartered in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, is Ireland's leading cost effective provider of tourism information and reservations. 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 and since July 2004 is the 100 per cent owner of Gulliver Ireland. Since 1997 a significant investment has transformed the Gulliver database as Ireland's destination management system and one of the leading systems of its kind in Europe.
The company's destination management system operates an advanced and comprehensive tourism database that provides an information and reservation service for Irish tourism products and services. The Gulliver database contains all approved accommodation providers on the island of Ireland, regardless of size or location, and the system processes bookings for almost 10,000 member properties from the internet, tourist offices and the international call centre. It functions as Ireland's national tourism information database and powers, among others, the Fáilte Ireland website, www.ireland.ie, and Dublin Tourism's website, www.visitdublin.com.
FEXCO is a global payments company headquartered in Kerry, Ireland with operations in the Ireland, UK, Spain, Scandinavia, Malta, Australia, Dubai and USA. The company was established in 1981 by its Executive Chairman, Brian McCarthy, and offers a range of Global Consumer Payments, Global Corporate Payments and Business Services. The company is privately owned with USA-based First Data Corporation, the world's leading payment processor, holding a minority shareholding in the business.
The Hinde Group
The Hinde Group, headquartered in Bray, Co. Wicklow, specialises in providing global tourist, gift and novelty solutions direct to retailers, wholesale distributors, importers and leading parks & attractions around the world. Our clients include many of the world's leading names in both retailing and the leisure business.
From our offices and design studios in Europe and North America, we provide a total design solution from concept to sourcing and delivery, a one-stop shop for all your needs. We specialise in providing solutions for both full ranges and individual products in tourism, destination, gift and novelties, in addition to personalised name programmes.
We sell direct to retail in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the USA and are also represented by distributors in markets including the USA, Canada, Australia, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Norway, New Zealand and Cyprus. Group companies include: John Hinde Ireland, John Hinde UK, John Hinde USA, ID Gear Inc, Postcardxpress, Fragrance Boutique, and Riverside Arts.