Irish people taking holidays in the west of Ireland have helped make it a good year for tourism in the region.

The sunny warm weather sees holidaymakers head for the west of Ireland giving a much need boost to local hoteliers and restaurateurs.

It may not be the Costa del Sol but the Costa del Connemara has rarely looked so good.

In 1980, tourism was worth around £53 million to the region. There is hope that this year's target of between £60 and £65 million can be realised. This is down to an increase in the number of Irish people now holidaying in the west of Ireland.

Joe Lally of the Tourist Board says that 1981 will be remembered as,

The year of the Irish

He is grateful to all the Irish people who decided to holiday in the west of Ireland this year and he believes that there is now a renewed faith in tourism in the region. The success of this year is largely down to a promotion campaign carried out throughout Ireland.

More people are also opting for self-catering cottages and holiday rentals.

Chairman of the western branch of the Hotels Federation, Mr O’Riordain says that the introduction of thatched and holiday cottages, such as those at a resort in Carroroe in County Galway, have been a lifesaver for the tourism industry. Demand has been so high, that they have been fully booked right through the tourist season. As a result of this high demand, an additional ten cottages will be added next year.

While bookings have exceeded expectations and business is booming, there have however been some complaints most of which relate to the price.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 31 August 1981. The reporter is Jim Fahy.