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Boom, bust and the changing geography of Irish tourism

Michael Clancy


Whereas considerable scholarly attention has been paid to Ireland’s leading economic activities, such as computer hardware and software, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, far less has been focused on tourism’s role in the Irish economic boom and subsequent bust. Tourism was central to the economic transition during the early years of the Celtic Tiger, especially in the area of job creation, but has equally been heavily implicated in the economic crisis, particularly due to the degree of speculative property investment in the hotel sector. The paper shows how the tourism industry changed qualitatively during this longer period, by considering the trajectory of the Irish hotel sector, and examining both the changing geography of overseas tourist origins and the internal distribution of tourism within Ireland.

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