Rip-Off-Ireland Shedding Its Expensive Image

The perception that Ireland had become a very expensive country – a rip-off Republic – emerged during the Celtic Tiger boom era of the 1990s and early part of the current century.

Photo From Free Public Domain Photographs

With near full employment (only 4% unemployment at the height of the prosperity – now unemployment is over 14%), staff could afford to pick and choose their jobs, pushing up prices, offering poor value, inflating business costs.

How things have changed. With the Tiger slain the economic crisis that nearly sank the country in 2008 and 2009 has seen earnings plummet, taxes spiral upwards while employment opportunities have disappeared. The result for the Tourist Sector of the Irish Economy has been predictable. Widescale closures of Hotels and Golf Courses throughout the country while the devastating reduction in the standard of living for employees has meant that jobs have become cherished, meaning better customer service and value.

A 2009 Bord Failte survey of visitors to Ireland revealed that as many as 41% of Tourists felt that holidaying in Ireland was too expensive. The most recent survey has seen this figure plummet to 17%.

So what is happening?

Well the first thing that can be said is that with the devastation in the Hotel sector those who remain standing are having to offer ever more enticing deals and room rates to their visitors. Where this has resulted in more people through the Hotel lobby the staff in the hotels are now required to offer better service, and cheaper too.

An increase in advertising by the Irish Tourist agencies with promotions such as ‘The Gathering’ have also helped to drive more visitors into Ireland, whose Dollars and Pounds are going further, a lot further than before. The Currency Exchange rate with the US Dollar has helped too. The Greenback has recovered from the 1.60 ceiling it nearly shattered last year to the 1.30 level it occupies today. It is clearly more affordable and a better overall experience to visit Ireland during its financial humbling.

Visitors from America seem to agree. The Bord Failte survey cited over 50% of visitors from the US as indicating that their visit ‘exceeded their expectations’.

Nothing like a bit of austerity to focus the minds of business owners and staff alike!

by Michael Green
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About the author

Michael Green Michael Green is Manager of The Information about Ireland Site

3 thoughts on “Rip-Off-Ireland Shedding Its Expensive Image

  1. I’ve been traveling to Ireland since 1995, an average of 2 times a year. I watched the ugly Celtic Tiger rear it’s head, watched the Irish people become less friendly and more impatient. Watched prices soar at B&B’s, Hotels and Restaurants, watched service become less friendly, less Irish. It’s sad that it took a crash to start getting back to the “real” Ireland. Change can be good, the changes in Ireland that the “Celtic Tiger” brought on was the only time I can remember change being mostly bad.

  2. NO one of this earth is free until females can have a free CHOICE to chose whether or not to be come a parent. Ireland, and I do love it…is no better than any other country, they must value their treasure of fine females and give them FREEDOM to chose…….

  3. It was indeed a tragic event that this lady died from complications related to her pregnancy. I wonder why she did not commute to another country, such as Canada, for an abortion since this country allows abortions “on demand”. Presumably, being a dentist, she could well afford any costs involved with such a procedure.

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