Ireland's Most Searched for Tourist Destination

We conducted a research project on the most searched for tourist attractions in Ireland, using Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner to create the ultimate staycation list.

Howth Cliff Walk Searched for More Frequently than Guinness Storehouse as Nation Prepared for Outdoor Summer

New research carried out by the SEM team here at adaptive demonstrates that outdoor attractions gained by far the most Google searches from Ireland during the key, early summer months when people were planning their get-aways and days out. Meanwhile, some of the most popular attractions of recent years barely got a look in. 

Summer 2021 was billed as an outdoor summer and this was certainly reflected in people’s search behaviour during May and June, according to our new research. 

Google search data shows that people in Ireland were most interested in finding information about outdoor tourist destinations including zoos, gardens, forest parks, islands and historical monuments throughout the island. 

Family attractions Dublin Zoo and Tayto Park were the most searched for attractions of all. Dublin Zoo in particular was a big winner in terms of search volume. In fact, the total number of Google searches per month for this family-friendly, outdoor attraction was greater than a combined total of all the searches conducted for the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth most popular attractions, ranked by the number of Google searches made using the attractions’ name in the search terms. 

The negative impact of Covid restrictions on indoor venues was clearly evident in the results of adaptive’s research. Some of the indoor attractions that recorded the highest number of visitors pre-Covid garnered comparatively few searches as people planned for a summer spent outdoors. For example, Guinness Storehouse, which was Ireland’s most visited tourist attraction in 2019, with 1.7 million guests, gained just 9,900 searches per month during May and June 2021. To put that in context, the Howth Cliff Walk was searched for 12,100 times per month during the same period, according to adaptive’s research.

Seaside locations fared well in the search rankings overall. While the most searched for beaches were along the east coasts (where people were less specific about which beach they wished to visit) the lure of the west coast was evident in the research and a number of attractions on the Wild Atlantic Way feature in adaptive’s list of the top 10 most searched for attractions. 

Top Tourist Destinations Ireland

Ireland' Most Searched for Tourist Destinations - Summer 2021

  1. Dublin Zoo
  2. Tayto Park
  3. Cliffs of Moher
  4. Fota Wildlife Park
  5. Achill Island
  6. Botanic Gardens
  7. Bunratty Castle
  8. Powerscourt Waterfall
  9. National Gallery
  10. Kylemore Abbey

“Most likely, Dublin will gain a bigger slice of the pie once city breaks become normal again, however our research shows that the appeal of the wide open spaces, beaches and dramatic scenery along the west coast was hard to resist for many as they planned for summer 2021,” said Cathal Gillen, managing director of adaptive.
“This research confirms a lot of what we might have expected; however, as well as confirming that people in Ireland planned to have their fun outside this summer it also provides more granular detail to illustrate what type of diversion they looked for and which specific attractions piqued their interest."
“As a performance marketing agency with specialisms in paid search advertising, we're always curious about what people are searching for. Google search provides such a rich source of data, which we love to mine for insights,” said Cathal. 

If you too are curious about what people are searching for and if you’d like to uncover insights from Google search or you’d like some expert assistance with your paid search advertising (or if you just want to chat about your favourite Irish tourist destination) don't hesitate to get in touch.

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