Brian O'Connor
Brian is Mintel Ireland’s Senior Consumer Analyst/Research Production Manager and has a broad focus across Leisure/Tourism, FMCG, Retail, Finance and Industrial sectors.

March 2015 saw Tourism Ireland launch a new video featuring the vocal talents of Irish film star Liam Neeson in the run up to NI and RoI’s annual St. Patrick’s day celebrations. The video highlights how many world attractions ‘go green’ for the 17th of March to mark the occasion, while also showing the green beauty of both the North and South of Ireland, and many key attractions, live music and St. Patrick’s festivals that visitors can expect to see. The video ends with the hashtag #GoGreen4Patricks.

Mintel’s own research highlights that Irish consumers plan to go green for the day itself, with some 38% of RoI and 18% of NI consumers noting they plan to ‘wear something green or buy St. Patrick’s day/Irish themed clothing’ for St. Patrick’s day in 2015.

Perhaps not surprisingly, some 48% of RoI and 15% of NI consumers plan on attending a local St. Patrick’s parade this year, being a popular family friendly event that consumers can take their children to.

This correlates with the findings of the Mintel Events Tourism Ireland 2014 report, where a fifth of Irish consumers attended a family or children’s event in the past year, those being the most popular type of event among Irish consumers. Finding events that are suitable for the whole family can be difficult, and moving forward Irish consumers are likely to increasingly turn to online sources to find suitable events.

Looking ahead to this St. Patrick’s day in Ireland, and beyond to the spring/summer season, Mintel estimates that family events will attract a strong level of domestic visitors, particularly with consumer confidence in 2015 being stronger than years previous.

With platforms such as Twitter and Facebook being the most used types of social media networks among Irish consumers in 2015 (i.e. logged-on to at least once per week), they will be key to informing parents and families about events. Furthermore, peer coverage of events or attractions will continue to play a key role in decision making when Irish consumers choose what to do with their days off.

For more information on social network usage and Irish tourism, please refer to Mintel’s Events Tourism Ireland 2014 report and the forthcoming Social Networking Ireland 2015 and the Technology and Irish Tourism Ireland 2015 reports.