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BeNe: The Netherlands & Belgium

BeNe: The Netherlands & Belgium

Market conditions / performance

Jan – September 2018 CSO figures show a growth of +3.1% in visitors from BeNe (Belgium and The Netherlands) versus 2017. Annual CSO figures for 2017 showed 379,900 arrivals from the BeNe region, representing a +31% growth compared to 2014.

BeNe profile of the Culturally Curious

The typical BeNe visitor is well-educated, progressively minded, a sophisticated traveller and are happy to speak in English. They are digitally savvy - knowing how to shop online for the best deals – but also aware and conscious of travel trends and issues around sustainability in the tourism sector. Visitors from Belgium are mostly 30+, visitors from The Netherlands are mainly 45+. They are likely to travel as a couple without kids or with other adult friends. The typical BeNe holidaymaker stays on average 4-7 nights in Ireland.  With plenty of affordable and easy access options, Ireland can be a short- or longer-holiday option for this group who, especially in the Dutch market, take multiple holidays during the year. They can travel in shoulder or off-season period and have a relatively high propensity to become return visitors.

What does the BeNe visitor want from a holiday?

They are interested in everything that a destination has to offer, while seeking an authentic experience. Key characteristics of the ideal holiday for the BeNe visitor to the island of Ireland are:
• Landscape, especially breath-taking coastal scenery
• Being active in nature and getting off the beaten track (especially activities like walking and to a lesser extent cycling)
• Interest in history and uncovering the culture, they enjoy discovering new and surprising things about a destination
• Exploring the country by car, touring around
• The Dutch visitor prefers good value for money and prefers a good 3* Star (family) Hotel or B&B. 
• The Belgian visitor looks for quality and enjoying the local cuisine is an important part of their trip.

Access from the Netherlands

Air access is strong with good regional spread. It is interesting to note that 87% of Dutch visitors to Ireland travel by plane, while 13% of visitors travel by ferry.
• Aer Lingus fly four times daily from Schiphol to Dublin and twice daily to Cork.
• Ryanair fly four times daily from Schiphol to Dublin and offer flights from Eindhoven to Dublin
• KLM runs 4 daily flights from Schiphol to Dublin and 6 flights per week to George Best Belfast City Airport
• EasyJet runs daily flights from Schiphol to Belfast International Airport

Access from Belgium

• Aer Lingus flies daily from Brussels Airport to Dublin
• Ryanair flies to Dublin from Brussels Airport and from Charleroi Airport

Good ferry access via France and Great Britain (land bridge)

We also have good ferry access via France and Great Britain (land bridge)

Our platforms

Our social media presence continues to grow, with continuous strong customer engagement. At the end of October 2018, we recorded:
• Over 204,000 Facebook fans
• 3,576 Twitter followers 
• 70,000 subscribers to our BeNe e-zines
In 2017, we recorded over 1 million website visits to through multiple paid campaign activities.

Key focus 2019:

• Great Coastal drives Campaign (Car-) touring
Touring around Ireland along the great car touring routes of the Wild Atlantic Way, Causeway Coast and through Ireland’s Ancient East will be a key campaign message in early 2019. 

• City break campaigns in shoulder- off season
The excellent year-round air access from this region offers consumers easy and affordable access into Dublin, Belfast and Cork. Our city break campaigns will be during key periods of Spring and Autumn.

Partnership are key to success

We are passionate about teaming up with partners who we know answer to the key motivators and holiday needs of the BeNe visitor. We would be delighted to assist you with promoting your business in our market where possible, and we have many cost-effective opportunities through which you can benefit.
Please feel free to contact us at any time for more information, or just to explore your options. We are happy to assist in putting you in contact with key Dutch and Belgian tour operators who offer packages to Ireland. We look forward to hearing from you!