With many people’s holiday plans for 2021 still up in the air and the Irish tourism industry seeking greater clarity about the year ahead, research from Core suggests that over 60% of people are interested in holidaying in Ireland this year so long as it is safe to do so. In contrast, 1.5 million people, or 39% of all adults, will not holiday, some because they have been financially impacted by restrictions while others are still very concerned about Covid-19 in the community.
With a greater focus on domestic tourism this year, Core’s Tourism Research explores people’s ‘hopes and concerns about taking a holiday beyond our 5km limit’. Of those who do plan to holiday, a quarter of a million people (6%) have already booked a foreign holiday. The survey results are based on the views of 1,000 adults, interviewed online and representative of the adult population.
Core’s research revealed that while the majority of people are planning to book their holiday based on a specific month, notably June onwards, there remains 791,000 people who will only book when case numbers are below 100 daily cases. Similarly, even when people book, there is a skew towards the back end of the year when there is a hope there will be greater protection from vaccines.
Despite the majority (71%) of Irish adults concerned that Covid-19 will spread again if people start travelling in Ireland, over half (56%) of those concerned about the spread are still open to going on holidays this year. Moreover, there is a strong level of trust in hotels and restaurants to ensure holiday makers wellbeing with almost 7 in 10 holiday planners believing hotels and restaurants will have safety measures in place in relation to Covid-19. While over a third (35%) of under 25s are considering or have booked to go abroad, the vast majority are yet to book their trip abroad, revealing that this age cohort is the least likely to not take a holiday this year.
The research also shows that 1 in 2 holiday planners would prefer to visit “a destination I am familiar with, rather than somewhere new this year.” While many are cautious of when and where they will travel, the research shows people are also cautious around who they will book their holidays with – the majority (74%) agreeing that they would book somewhere if a deposit was returned if restrictions prevented travelling. Furthermore, almost half (47%) of those who not plan to travel for holidays this year believe a government scheme such as free vouchers would encourage them to visit places in Ireland.
59% of holiday makers will choose holidays which involve time outdoors while holidays with extended family is most important to young families with 2 in 3 of those with children aged under 12 years hope to holiday with extended family members this year.
According to Lindsey McAteer, research project manager, Core:: “Tourism continues to be one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus and the outlook remains uncertain despite pent up demand. This year is going to be about flexibility as people want to know what the refund policies are before making a booking. Tourism is at a crossroads and the measures put in place today will shape the tourism for tomorrow.”