Ireland Pitched as a ‘Detox Destination for Soul-Searching Millionaires and Celebrities’

Kantar Millward Brown are a leading global research agency focusing on topics such as deeper understating of people, branding, resilience, insights, innovation, future ideas and opportunity.  In 2018 they stated ‘Ireland should be pitched as a “detox destination” for millionaires and celebrities looking to ‘soul-search’ without being hassled by crowds’.

They recommended that the Irish national tourism development agency (Failte Ireland) draft a plan to bring more wealthy luxury-travel seekers to these shores. The study for Fáilte Ireland, released to Fora under freedom of information laws, estimated that the global luxury travel market will generate revenues of over $1.1 billion by the year 2022, indicating an annual compound annual growth rate of between 6% and 7% from 2016.

There are no specific figures for how much the segment is worth to Ireland alone, but the research estimated that visitors with the deepest pockets typically spend between €10,000 and €20,000 a week when they come here as a couple, or between €30,000 and €60,000 if they travel with family.

As part of the assessment, Kantar Millward Brown interviewed 20 property owners, destination managers, travel operators, bloggers and travel tech execs based in Europe and the US to gauge their perceptions of Ireland as a holiday destination.

It also surveyed 225 high net worth individuals – those with $1 million to $5 million in liquid financial assets – and ultra-high net worth individuals – those with assets of more than $5 million – from North America, the UK, Europe, China and the Middle East.

The report discovered that Ireland isn’t perceived as a “luxurious country”, although the authors suggest that’s not necessarily a bad thing since “no specific destination really is”.

 Why do They want to Come to Ireland?

  • Ireland is widely perceived as a safe destination compared to other European locations, some of which have experienced terrorist attacks in recent years.
  • They want experiences that are “less touristy than the mainstream attractions, as they want to feel ‘special’ and ‘precious’ as their time is limited and they want to make the most of it”.
  • “Most of the luxury travellers want a more authentic experience where they can be absorbed in local culture, meet (the) local farmer, author, minister and politician,” the report found.
  • Other more general demands include “being pampered and surprised at each touchpoint”, “having encounters with local aristocrats” and “soul-searching in most scenic destinations”.
  • Want to come during shoulder season when it is quieter and they can have privacy.
  • Believe it or not they like to come “During the off-peak season (October to February), the sun sets early and that’s the time when the high-profile visitors enjoy,” it said. “This is because they can go out, enjoy the beauty of Ireland, take a walk around the city all without the hassle of being noticed.”


  • The main barriers that prevent luxury travellers from coming here are the poor weather and a general lack of awareness of how Ireland differs from its main competitors like Scotland and Iceland.
  • Dublin has been associated with stags and hen parties something that doesn’t go well withth e image
  • The midlands of Ireland haven’t received the focus they deserve specivic properties and cottages and these areas can help develop traction


  • Showcase Ireland outside of Dublin with greenery and beautiful scenery
  • Make information excellent, up to date, professional looking, online and easily accessible and bookable
  • Project Ireland as secure with the ability to have peace of mind when travelling
  • Demonstrate a wealth of extradordinary dining and experiences in Ireland
  • Maximise the appeal of interesting experiences, engaging in culture and unusual hidden gems
  • Promote the midland using the new‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ tourism brand – hasn’t received the focus it deserves as an area with unique properties and cottages.
  • Ireland should be “promoted as a detox destination” that gives visitors the chance to “reflect and indulge in soul-searching”.
  • Fáilte Ireland to use social media and other marketing tools to plug the island’s “culture and tranquillity”.
  • Tourism industry to create more yoga camps and retreats so Ireland can claim to be a “wellness destination”.
  • For the to sector “establish a culture of discrete and instantaneous service” when dealing with luxury holidaymakers. “This involves anticipating needs of the clients over time and implementing these without them having to raise a finger,” it said.

DETOUR Resources are Perfect for Wellbeing Tourism Regions in Ireland

It is integral to Ireland’s wellbeing offering to include and interconnect the destination, location, natural characteristics and different types of accommodation provided.  DETOUR Resources can show you how to build a wellbeing tourism or region arming you with the tools and how you can exploit this megatrend, build your knowledge and skills to capitalize on current and future wellbeing tourism opportunities, increase innovation, achieve market diversification and build  sustainable growth in regional tourism economies.

FREE Resources

  1. A resource packfor VET tourism educators, policy makers, tourism bodies and stakeholders to learn the necessary components and tactics required to create regional wellbeing destinations

  2. A frameworkto cultivate wellbeing tourism regions and communities and encourage sustainable collaboration between VET, HE and tourism business

  3. A Wellbeing Opportunities for Regions/Destinations training programmefor Tourism SME’s available in two formats

  4. Direct online training modalities via our DETOUR MOOC (IO4)