A new survey has shown that tourism operators in Ireland have reported an increased confidence about the future of their businesses.

Half of all tourism operators believe that their business performance will rise this year, according to the latest Fáilte Ireland tourism barometer.

This figure is a significant jump from the 7% who believed the same just two years ago.

The findings cover January to May of this year and come from a survey of business sentiment amongst the various sectors of tourism including hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs, self-catering, hostels and caravan and camping.

Three-quarters of tourism businesses believe that the performance of their company this year will be up on or the same as last year.

This confidence compares with the fact that only half of all tourism businesses felt this way in early 2010 and only one in five had the same level of confidence in the same period during 2009.

On the basis of their performance during the first five months of this year, four in ten operators are reporting that their business is up with a further three in ten holding level.

Two years ago, eight in ten businesses were reporting that activity levels were down for the same period.

Fáilte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn said: ‘Along with the recent announcements in the Government's jobs initiative, the CSO data showing an increase in overseas visitors during the first quarter of the year and the high profile visits of the Queen and President Obama, there is some cause for confidence.

‘However, everyone in tourism must continue to provide the good value and quality, which has developed over the last two years, to ensure that sunny prospects become cold cash.’