Last updated: 08:00 PM ET, Fri November 18 2016

Should Ireland Focus on Growing European Visitors?

Destination & Tourism Janeen Christoff November 18, 2016

Should Ireland Focus on Growing European Visitors?

 PHOTO: Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. (Photo by Janeen Christoff) 

According to a recent report in Newstalk, leading tourism commentator professor Jim Deegan has suggested Ireland focus on bringing more visitors in from Europe. 

“Deegan, who is the director of the National Centre for Tourism Policy at the University of Limerick and a Failte Ireland board member, is calling for (Ireland) to be more aggressive in its targets and to move away from U.K. tunnel vision when we market the island abroad,” wrote Craig Fitzpatrick.

Deegan noted that his ideas are based on market performance. 

“Mainland European markets over a long period of time have been performing far better to other markets relative to the amount of money we invest in them,” Deegan told Newstalk. 

According to Newstalk, Continental Europe's market share has grown to 36 percent, close to the revenue share from U.K. tourists, which has declined proportionately over the years.

READ MORE: Bringing Ireland’s Ancient East to Life 

Deegan pointed out that some of the reasons that tourism officials may be shying away from targeting broader European visitation is a lack of language skills and a more defined infrastructure in English-speaking countries. 

While he acknowledged the U.K. as an important market, Deegan suggested that a "pause for thought is required to see how Ireland may be able to either reallocate or increase funding to focus on mainland European markets.”

For more on tourism in Ireland, read on here.