Irish Tourism in 2011
reports appeared at the end of 2010 regarding the state of Irish Tourism. The
country needs revenue from tourists, however getting to Ireland and moving about
in Ireland if you rent a car can be very expensive.
Firstly Fáilte Ireland's report (an organization formed in 2003 to promote
tourism in Ireland) showed the impact of the downturn in business.
Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) said that overseas visitor numbers
declined by a further 16% in 2010 to 5.5 million. According to their report are
2.2 million fewer visitors than came to Ireland in the peak year of 2007 and a
level last seen in 1998. The report also says "Ireland's largest source market
Britain accounted for 1.3 million of those lost visitors."
needs to attract visitors in 2011 as so many businesses depend on tourists now
that the general economy is not as healthy as it has been in recent years. What
is most important is people feel they are made very welcome and have value for
of the downturn in economies of a lot of countries, many visitors have less money
to spend and probably won't be able to take those additional short break holidays
Companies like Ryan Air and Aer Lingus are spending a great deal
of money promoting Ireland in the media and attracting visitors to spend a long
weekend in the country, highlighting events and places of interest.
is now so important is that organizations like Fáilte Ireland, The ITIC and
Discover Ireland actually tell business in Ireland how important tourism
is and not to let the tourist feel they have been "ripped off" by extra charges.
We have got used to "hidden charges" for credit cards, taxes on the airlines etc,
however car hire companies is one area that has been adding on additional charges.
The Irish car rental business is usually the first place that a visitor arriving
at an airport comes across "Irish hospitality" or lack of it! On three occasions
In 2010, my wife rented a car when visiting Dublin from England and on the last
two visits hired a car from a car rental company that also holds the franchise
for a major European operator.
was charged for taking the car across the M50 toll at a highly inflated
price and had to contact eflow (the company that manages the toll) who confirmed
the vehicle never crossed during the period of hire. Initially the car hire company
said that she would have to cross the M50 toll when travelling from Dublin Airport
to Drumcondra. We told them that the car never went near the toll only staying
around the Drumcondra, Malahide and Howth areas. The car hire company then said
it would have been later in the day after it was returned to their depot, however
eflow confirmed that this did not occur.
the issue on the web I have found that this is frequently occurring and presumably
the car rental company does not think that anyone will question a small charge
added to a credit card a few weeks after the customer has returned home.
the second visit she was charged for car hire excess insurance. Although she declined
it saying she had an annual policy the company still told her to sign in a couple
of places and had to pay this unwanted €54 insurance that appeared on her credit
card after returning home. She has an annual policy bought via http://www.insurance4carrental.com
that actually costs less than it did for five days. The car rental company refused
to refund it saying that she had signed for it, despite telling the receptionist
she did not require the product.
Irish car rental companies also charge a fee for allowing the car to cross the
border and collect a car from the airport. These unwelcoming "hidden additions"
to the car hire process are not good for the tourist business at a time when the
country needs tourism revenue.
ITIC report says Ireland's largest market source is Britain. Coming to
and from Ireland by car ferry has become very expensive.
average time of a crossing is three and a half hours and there is not too
much competition on the Irish Sea routes. The ferry companies charge per
passenger, so for a family of four the cost mounts up. The only passengers who
get a free crossing are dogs who remain in the car.
have just booked a crossing for mid January with three passengers going to Dublin
and two returning We are using the "club class" facility and the return fare is
£317. I then decided to check out the price of a competitor on the same
route, this was £382.The ferry commpany has notices up at the Holyhead
check in "The Low Fares Ferry Company"! This is in the
off peak time of the year so what is going to be like in the middle of the summer
when the country wants the tourists to visit?
to personal family circumstances we then had to postpone our return from Dublin
by 24 hours and as I do not trust these car ferry companies 100%, I priced up
a brand new booking and it had gone up quite lot, both ways.
tried to change my booking on line and the system said it would cost another
£40. I telephoned the ferry company and they told me the change would be £40.
I said I had tried to do this on line, but the automated system was also increasing
the price of the outgoing sailing that we were not changing. I was put on hold
and a couple of minutes later was told it would be £15. Had I not questioned the
company's representative I would have had to pay another £25.00. This is
even worse than be charged for using the M50 toll bridge on a phantom journey
by the Irish car rental company.
Sunday 16th January, the ferry was not excactly full. There were probably 50 people
in the "premium" area and 100 in the other oublic areas. How they can
justify increasing the price that day?
companies are not doing the Irish travel business any favours. On the 14th January
2011 DFDS the Dutch ferry operator who took over Norfolk Line last year announced
they were closing closing its routes from Dublin to Birkenhead, Wirral, and Heysham,
Lancashire, as there was "considerable overcapacity" in the market. According
to an Irish Times report "The move may help DFDS’s competitors
P+O, SeaTruck, Stena and Irish Ferries recover volumes and yields as they pick
up its freight custom. DFDS’s move follows the closure by Stena of its Larne-Fleetwood
route, which was serviced by three ships. Meanwhile, the Competition Authority
has decided to carry out a full investigation in relation to the proposed sale
by DFDS to Stena of ferries servicing its routes between Belfast and Liverpool
and Belfast and Heysham"
contrast I have received an email this week from one of the car ferry companies
operating on the cross channel service out of Dover. They have an early booking
offer of £29 each way for a car and up to five passengers. Testing their
system for a booking for the same period as I would be using on the Irish route
the price came out at £87. The crossing takes up to 1 hour 45 minutes.
is a lot of competition about on and under the English Channel so it is no wonder
so many people holiday in that direction every year.
Irish Tourist authorities need to lobby the car ferry companies to cut their fares.
Many of the car ferries on the Irish routes are half empty. They do carry a lot
of freight traffic, however as the general economy has been declining then these
levels will probably drop. If the companies cut the cost of travel, had more people
on them spending money in the shops and on food and drink surely they would have
a more successful business and there would be more tourists being able to afford
to visit Ireland?
Irish Edition of the Sunday Times ran a report on the "sad
state of Irish Tourism" on the 16th January. So many British people are no
longer visiting. Apparently with so many UK retailers being in the country people
do not feel they have gone abroad. Costs of food and accommodation can be high
and as stated above ferry travel is far too expensive for the average family and
they would probably have much more value for money by crossing the English channel.
those involved in Irish Tourism in 2011, they need to look at what they are charging
their visitors and not try hidden charges like some of the Irish car rental companies
do and make the tourist feel they have had a "good value" holiday so
they will return and tell their friends to go to Ireland for their holidays.
2011 ©jmlpropertyservices - Philip Suter)
This information should not be relied on for accuracy and is presented here without
the responsibility of jml Property Service and the website it is being displayed
at. jml property Services 01-11
Following on from
article "Dubious Dublin airport car rental staff - November 2011" we
have added a summary and extracts and comments on the "Car Hire Excess Blog"
and invited readers to comment and add their experiences of problems renting a
car in Ireland - Visit the blog article
"Focus on Dublin Car Hire Rental Staff - November
Ireland by car - need to rent a car? Click below for Car Hire
for more information
accelerating cost of taking a car on holiday to Ireland 2011
to Ireland and hiring a car can prove cheaper than taking your own car - March
Car Rental Companies make customers buy their car hire insurance by financial
constraints - Article February 2011
car hire companies are taking visitors for a ride - Article November 2010
Irish car hire companies are not improving Irish Tourism Article - October 2010
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get caught not paying the toll on the M50 in Ireland - Find out more Here
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