There has been a massive 85% surge in online St Patrick’s Day getaway travel and tourism-related searches here, a new study has revealed.

And after two years of Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, a Google Trends analysis found Irish people are planning to get away for one of Ireland’s busiest tourism periods.

A breakdown of the figures revealed there has been a 300% growth in ‘last minute travel’ searches here as hordes of people plan a March spring break.

Meanwhile, Irish businesses have been encouraged to ensure their online info is up to date in order to maximise the soaring 351% rate of ‘staycation’ searches.

Alice Mansergh, Director for Small Business at Google said: “Over the past two years we have seen a huge shift towards digital, with many businesses in the retail sector, for example, pivoting online for the first time.

“Hospitality was undoubtedly one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic and, as life begins to return to pre-pandemic ways, we see that businesses in this sector now have the same opportunity to connect with their consumers online.

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“Google searches indicate that consumers are once again thinking about and planning travel, taking some much-needed and well-deserved R&R and getting ready for big occasions like their weddings in Ireland.”

The survey found a big increase in interest around St Patrick’s day breaks with searches surging by 79% in Ireland.

Meanwhile, similar searches in the US jumped by 35% and there has been a 77% increase in searches for ‘restaurants’ in this country during the past month.

The study found that more people are planning travel within Ireland with searches for ‘staycations’ up 351% year-on-year.

The easing of restrictions around numbers of attendees at weddings has also seen an increase in traffic with a 55% monthly increase in searches for ‘weddings’ in January.

Ms Mansergh added: “By being digitally present, businesses can help their consumers plan and buy online.

“We introduced Google for Small Business to help small Irish businesses take their business online, guiding them them along every step from setting up their Google Business Profile to creating a website, along with tips and advice on how to reach and grow their customer base.

“Leveraging these free resources, businesses in Ireland can capture the renewed surge in demand for travel and tourism.”

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