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Monday, 06 July 2015 | By Gerry Mulvaney


By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

I was on holiday recently, sitting outside a small pub on the West Coast of Ireland, sipping a pint of Guinness while my wife was looking around a clothes shop. I am not much of a clothes shopper, least of all with my wife, so the half hour with the newspaper was a blessed release.

An article about the tourism industry caught my eye, as here was I contributing to said industry. According to the article, the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitive Index reckons the travel industry contributes about 9% of global GDP and is worth a current estimate of around US$7 trillion. Tourism, it seems, is growing at an annual rate of 4% – faster even than financial services and manufacturing.

It seems that Spain tops the index with a surge in tourists from the emerging markets such as China, Brazil and Mexico. More than 60 million tourists visited Spain in 2013, making it the third most visited country and the generated revenues account for almost 6% of Spain’s economy as a whole.

We have a very strong tourist market in the UK as well. Again, according to the index it is worth about US$90 million, about 3.5% of the GDP, and provides employment for about 5.5% of the workforce.

Six of the top ten countries for in the World Economic Forum’s Tourism Index are in Europe, including Spain, France, Germany and the UK. Ireland is apparently in nineteenth position but judging by the number of clothes bags that accompanied my wife when she collected me from the pub, it is likely to be much higher in 2015.

Language versions of printed tourism guidebooks

Printed guidebooks in a variety of languages

Of course one of the beneficiaries of the flood of tourists is the printing industry, servicing as it does the hotel, catering and travel businesses benefiting from the influx. A look around the small town of Clifden where we were staying, revealed a large amount of print, specifically produced for the tourists. Guidebooks in a variety of languages, hotel brochures, signs in shops and even flyers for an evening of Irish music, all originated in the press rooms of Irish printers.

Printed postcards stand

Printed postcards – remember them?

I was even surprised to find a shop doing a good trade in postcards, something I thought would be long gone in this day of instant picture messaging and SMS texts. But according to the shopkeeper who engaged me in conversation while my wife spent some more money next door, even young people like the rather retro idea of writing a postcard, sticking on a stamp and putting it in a postbox.

How the Printing Industry can Target the Tourism Industry

With the tourism industry riding high, Europe’s printers will be targeting the market. There have got to be a lot more opportunities for language versions and personalisation to cater for the demand as more nationalities are travelling. Printing in the native language is not much use if your visitors are from China, Mexico and Brazil. So print runs of guidebooks and brochures in Mandarin, Portuguese and Spanish are going to be rolling off presses in Ireland.

Lobby image:

Landa S10 - Printing Press