Visitors from all over the world travel to the Emerald Isle to seek out Ireland’s longest running festival; the Clifden Arts Festival.
According to Fáilte Ireland’s recent consumer festival research, the Clifden Arts Festival exceeds the national festival average on both incidence of overseas visitors and overall satisfaction. Fáilte Ireland has consistently seen festivals and events as key vehicles in attracting overseas and domestic tourism with annual events being a major pull in tourism planning.
On the 14-24th of September 2017, Clifden’s 40th annual Arts Festival will take place. This prestigious festival lures an incredible audience of around 3,015 adults annually with 45 percent locals and 17 percent domestic visitors. Engagement with the festival is very strong with visitors attending four days of the festival on average. Visitors regard it as a “Fantastic little town, where everyone seems to be involved.”
The incidence of overseas visitors at the Clifden Arts Festival was 38 percent in 2016, well above the National Festivals Average, with USA visitors accounting for 14 percent of all attendees. The majority of those visitors from overseas were repeat visitors to Ireland and many tourists were significantly influenced to visit Ireland by the Clifden Arts Festival.
Overseas visitors spent an average of 11 nights in Ireland with the majority residing in paid accommodation such as guest houses, B&B’s and hotels. The average expenditure for an overseas visitor in 2016 was €805.20 compared to €731 in 2014/2015. The level of loyalty established by the festival is also impressive with 65 percent of all visitors having attended the festival before including 44 percent of overseas visitors. Festival goers were extremely satisfied with their experience at a 61 percent satisfaction rate which is well above the National Festivals Average.
Creative Director of the Clifden Arts Festival, Dr. Brendan Flynn has remarked on how he looks forward to the 40th festival with immense anticipation: “This year’s festival promises to be better than ever with plenty of new faces to add to the long line of artists, musicians, poets and writers who have been an integral part of the festival for over four decades”.
The Festival is reviewed very positively, especially in relation to the electric atmosphere created in Clifden itself. Visitors described the festival as: “A unique festival, with high quality events and a broad range. It’s getting bigger and better”