Following a recent council meeting of ITOA members, President Gerry Nicholls reported that members were generally satisfied with business performance thus far in 2012. Overall members were projecting further growth on the excellent recovery experienced in 2011.
President Gerry Nicholls said “ Our 2011 ITOA Member Business Report [opens in PDF] launched mid-year showed significant signs of a return to growth with overall members businesses reporting a 20% increase on 2010. There was particularly good recovery from the North American market in 2011 with 30% growth experiences and ITOA members handling 21% of the total promotable visitors to Ireland last year. Europe also continued to deliver strongly with France, Germany and Austria being the star performers”.
ITOA conduct a business survey with members at the beginning of each year and while in its early days, the general view is that cumulatively single digit growth is expected on 2012 business. “This recovery has been hard won by ITOA members and the level of sales and promotional activity undertaken in the overseas markets is the primary reason for this good news .
ITOA members spent over 6.5 million on sales and marketing activity last year and over 1,500 man days in the markets which is equivalent to 7 full time sales staff in the markets every week. Our members are winning business for Ireland not just for the short term but a year to two years in advance, so the time and budget we invest in a given year in the overseas markets is about medium to long term business with 2014 already firmly on the radar.
There is no doubt that there is still good business to be written for 2013 with shorter lead in time, particularly with the Gathering 2013 initiative really gaining momentum since September of this year. ITOA members are playing their part in the promoting and delivering the Gathering message internationally and have been doing so since early this year.