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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Tourism (Raymond Kearney)

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Raymond Kearney

Tourism

Ireland’s tourism industry boomed during the Celtic Tiger years. Hotels were full, restaurants introduced second sittings, drink prices rose as the evening wore on, and, at the end of a night, it was next to impossible to get a taxi home.

On the surface, this was a golden period for Irish tourism. With greater flight connections and cheaper air fares, particularly within Europe, our international tourist arrivals grew from 6.31 million in 2000 to 8.01 million in 2007, with overseas visits to Ireland from mainland Europe increasing by over 78%.

At home, as Irish people started to feel wealthier, short breaks within Ireland became increasingly popular and our domestic holiday market grew 74% between 2000 and 2008. Well-known international hotel brands, including the Four Seasons, Westin, Ritz Carlton, Sheraton, Marriott, Clarion, Hilton and, Radisson, began to arrive, underscoring a widespread confidence in the prospects for Irish tourism.

Hosting the Ryder Cup in 2006 confirmed our status as a premium global golf destination, and as a worldwide TV audience watched on, we confidently predicted that our golf visitor numbers would soar. With the Irish Exchequer awash with money, plans were put in place to build key infrastructure to support our tourism sector, including Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport, the Port Tunnel, the Convention Centre in Dublin, Grand Canal Theatre and the Aviva Stadium.

There was huge investment in our motorway network too, and we marvelled at...

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