Shannon Airport, a Shannon Group company, has said that Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) figures published for August reaffirm the importance of Shannon to tourism along the Wild Atlantic Way and its wider catchment.
ITIC’s ‘Irish Tourism Dashboard’ for August shows that the number of tourists that came into Shannon last month grew at a greater rate than any other Irish airport, with the 213,000 tourists that flew into Shannon amounting to a 9% increase on the same month last year.
Responding to the news, Andrew Murphy, Managing Director, Shannon Airport said that the tourism growth rate is very much in keeping with the wider increase in passenger numbers during the summer season.
“We are having our best summer season in a decade and while we knew our wider passenger numbers were up, this breakdown from ITIC for the tourism sector is very encouraging. It is particularly welcome news given that we have completed a major €40 million investment programme to make the airport better and easy for our customers to use.
“Tourism is huge for our catchment, which runs from Cork right up to the North-West and Shannon is a key enabler of it. We’re the premier gateway on the Wild Atlantic Way for international tourists and this year has proven yet again the market demand for services into Shannon.”
Mr Murphy said that overall passenger growth was up by 7% in Q2 with a significant increase, in particular, in transatlantic services.
“Transatlantic has performed extremely well for us this year but it’s essential that we deliver on this and, indeed, all our markets. We are the only airport on the Wild Atlantic Way with daily services across the key transatlantic, UK and European markets so there is an onus on us to deliver and we are delivering,” he continued.
“Our growth this year has been largely down to additional and improved services across all markets, including a new Toronto flight with Air Canada and new services to Barcelona-Reus, Bristol and Liverpool with Ryanair, while the airline also increased Manchester frequencies. We are also looking forward to Norwegian Air International expanding its Shannon/New York service for the winter season, which will also see Ryanair going year-round on Alicante, Spain."
Commenting on the results Matthew Thomas, CEO Shannon Group plc said: “It’s been a very positive year for Shannon and, as a result, for tourism here. We expect further good news by year end, as we are on track to record an overall increase of almost 30% since becoming an independent airport five years ago.
“These figures illustrate the impact that Shannon makes and send out a clear message that the more we grow, the more the tourism industry here benefits. Our focus now is to build on this positive growth, not just at the airport but across all our Shannon Group businesses. Growth of this kind is crucially important for the delivery of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 plans,” he said.