Austria and Switzerland
With +200,000 visitors from Austria & Switzerland visiting the island of Ireland in 2018, a +18% increase year on year, Tourism Ireland will continue to work and increase visitors from this region.
Direct Air Access
Currently there are only direct flights from Vienna to Dublin. Capacity has almost doubled on this routing thanks to Lauda commencing daily flights at the end of 2018. This is in addition to the already established Aer Lingus daily flight. The West Coast can also expect a boost of Austrian passengers with the announcement of Lauda flights from Vienna to Shannon starting in April 2020. The 2x weekly flights (Wed/Sat) will be flown until the end of October 2020.
Due to the close proximity of other major airports to Austrian cities and regions, many Austrians would fly out of Munich and Zurich airports.
Connections from Switzerland include direct flights with Swiss (LX, 9 x per week) and Aer Lingus (EI) from Zurich and Geneva (EI = winter 9x per week, daily / LX = 4x per week) to Dublin.
Swiss also has a 4x weekly flight from Zurich to Cork, operating from March 29 – October 20.
Ryanair flies from Basel to Dublin 3x weekly and Easyjet from Geneva to Belfast 2x weekly.
Why should you target these markets?
With over 150,000 visitors each year from Austria and Switzerland, this is a market with significant potential for tourism to Ireland. Tourism Ireland will continue to concentrate on publicity and trade activities in 2019.
Visitors from both countries enjoy touring the entire island and activities such as walking, cruising and golf are of particular interest to them. Swiss and Austrian visitors also enjoy cultural and heritage attractions.
How to work with these markets
Most Austrian tour operators focussed on Ireland deal with group travel with only a small handful of operators offering FIT package tours to the island. Most tend to work with Irish incoming agencies. Austrian operators tend to be an honest and loyal customer once a business relationship has started. The operators are mainly mid-sized companies and the personal contact with the Irish trade is very important to them.
Switzerland is a very traditional market with only a handful of Ireland Tour Operators / specialists offering groups.
Direct contact and regular updates are important for the Swiss trade, mostly they work with DMCs and are loyal business partners.
Market contact name: Simon Bopp & Véronique Platschka