DUBAI, - Since the announcement of visa free travel for Emiratis to Ireland in early 2018, dnata Travel, the UAE's longest-standing travel provider, has experienced a 63.5 percent increase in year on year travel from the UAE to Ireland.

The report showed a dramatic 55 percent increase in travel arrangements made within 14 days in advance of travelling, including a 9 percent increase in bookings made within three days of travel, signifying the benefit of visa restrictions being lifted.

In addition, the statistics indicated a 9 percent increase in solo travellers, with room nights and average booking values also experiencing a year-on-year growth.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: "The draw of Ireland for GCC travellers was undeniable last year, and we're proud to welcome more visitors to our country every year. Visa-free travel was a historic step for Ireland-Emirati relations, and we're delighted that more people are able to see all that we hold dear to our hearts - be it the diverse and rich landscape, the welcoming locals, hearty cuisine, and the vibrant culture of the island."

Antonio Fellino, Vice President of Retail, & eCommerce for dnata Travel UAE, said: "With a combination of stark landscape differences and striking cultural similarities, Ireland is becoming a hotspot for UAE travellers."

Fellino continued: "Ireland provides the perfect setting year round for those looking to escape the desert heat to experience the lush green landscapes of the island. A truly family-focused destination, Ireland is popular with families and also couples, with 59 percent of travellers with us booking in pairs."

Source: Emirates News Agency