The AA’s online Route Planner, which generates over 8 million routes per annum, has seen a surge in route enquiries from the United States this January. Over 20,000 internet users from the US downloaded directions for a journey in Ireland, an increase of 68% on the figure for January of 2012.
“In the context of the Gathering this is a very good early indicator.” Says Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “Of course we don’t know how many people will actually come and visit us but for route enquiries from America to be up by 68% is encouraging.”
“The AA is playing its part to promote Ireland overseas. We have just launched a new online booking service for AA Inspected hotels – www.AAHotels.ie – and we will be promoting that internationally via our network of AA-type clubs all around the world.”
The data will no doubt please Fáilte Ireland and the tourism sector generally. The AA also reports that route enquiries from key markets like France, Germany and the Netherlands were also up in January. More disappointingly, route enquiries from the UK were down 1.4% compared to January 2012.
“Ordinary citizens in the UK are feeling the pinch, we know that directly from our colleague organisation over there.” Says Faughnan. “Growing or even maintaining UK visitors this year will be a challenge. But the American data is certainly heartening.”
The AA RoutePlanner is available at www.aaireland.ie/routes. The extremely popular site generates printable driving directions between any locations in Ireland, Britain and Continental Europe. The routes show directions, journey times, traffic incidents from AA Roadwatch, fuel costs and tolls. It can also display places of interest and AA accredited Hotels and Bed & Breakfast accommodation.
The AA carries out detailed inspections of all of its accredited Hotels and guesthouses. Only those that have been physically inspected and approved by the AA are listed.
Irish people know us very will of course and lots of them use the RoutePlanner regularly. But in fact the AA brand is well known internationally so for an American unfamiliar with Ireland it is a great comfort and a great service. The AA logo is their reassurance as to the quality of the Hotel they choose.