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BeNe: The Netherlands & Belgium

BeNe: The Netherlands & Belgium

Market conditions / performance

2017 was a good year for visitors to Ireland from the Netherlands and Belgium (BeNe region). CSO figures January – September 2017 show almost 300,000 arrivals YTD - representing a 41% growth compared to 2014.

BeNe profile of the Culturally Curious

The typical BeNe visitor is well-educated, usually in a higher income bracket and has a good-to-excellent command of the English language. They are technology 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 be travelling as a couple or with other adult friends. The typical BeNe holidaymaker stays on average of 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 like to travel off-season and have a relatively 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 Ireland are:

  • Landscape, especially breath-taking coastal scenery.
  • Feeling of exploration is important.
  • Interest in history and uncovering the culture.
  • Being active in nature and getting off the beaten track (especially activities like walking and cycling).
  • Exploring the country by car, touring around.
  • The Dutch visitor is price-sensitive and  enjoys discovering new and surprising things about a destination.
  • The Belgian visitor is looking for value for money 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 also have a daily flight from Eindhoven to Dublin.
  • KLM runs daily flights from Schiphol to Dublin and George Best City Airport.
  • EasyJet runs daily flights 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).
Our platforms

Our social media fan base continues to grow, with many valuable social connections and increasing customer engagement. At the end of 2017, we recorded:

  • Over 188,000 Facebook fans
  • 3,555 Twitter followers 
  • Over 126,000 subscribers to our BeNe e-zines
We will continue to focus on driving and encouraging visitors through these platforms in 2018.
Traffic is driven to our consumer websites: for The Netherlands and for Belgium continuously. From Jan – Oct 2017, we recorded over 853,000 visits to our sites.

Key themes in 2018

Throughout 2018, we will place key emphasis in our campaigns on the theme of touring in Ireland including touring on the great coastal routes of the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coast but also focusing on touring through Ireland’s Ancient East. The excellent air access from this market region offers consumers easy and affordable access to visit the key cities of Dublin, Belfast and Cork. We will put these city break options in the picture for the key periods of Spring and Autumn.

Key to success

We are passionate about teaming up with partners who we feel will be a success in the BeNe market. 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 do so.

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!

Tourism Ireland The Netherlands & Belgium

Industry/Trade Executive: Eef Belckx
Tel: +32 2 643 21 22

Marketing Manager: Karen van der Horst
Tel: +31 20 530 60 50