Summer 2016 has been our third summer of hosting on AirBnB, and has, in fact, been quite different to previous years.
Our guests have typically been mainly from the USA, however, this year our guests were mostly European – mostly either German or English.
We did have a chat with those US guests who did come to stay, about ‘why’ Americans weren’t travelling. We thought it might be because of the election. However, they said that a lot of Americans are worried about terrorist attacks in Europe and this is why they are not travelling. We haven’t had the chance to travel this year, but I do wonder do Irish people consider terrorist attacks when travelling in Europe?
Perhaps one of the most interesting conversations I had with guests was based around food! Are you surprised?
The conversation is particularly pertinent when you read the results of a survey carried out by Failte Ireland:
Developed in partnership with Fáilte Ireland the newly published research examines the perceptions of over 2,500 travellers in ten countries including Ireland. The research also showed that food is now an essential part of the overall visitor experience with 93% of those surveyed reported participating in a food activity on a recent trip. This tells us that the pursuit of a unique and memorable experience is on the rise. While 66% of holidaymakers rated food as important in their overall experience of Ireland this increased to almost one in four (78%) amongst food travellers.
Well guys if food is ‘part of the overall experience’ we, as a nation, need to step up to the plate quite a bit to cater for vegetarians! Yes, can you believe it, here I am living on a farm where we produce free range pork products and I am asking the Irish nation to improve their vegetarian offerings.
Our guests, a young German couple with their 4 year old son, spent a fortnight travelling around Ireland, staying in B&B’s and eating out. (Yes, it does surprise us that vegetarians choose to stay with us.) When I asked what was the vegetarian ‘choice’ like on their travels …. the answer….. soup, pasta or chips.
Come on folks, you can do better than this.
For dinner I made Parmigiana with our own aubergines which they totally enjoyed. My homemade granola and our own eggs for breakfast the next morning were also a big hit. It was the first time they had been offered eggs for breakfast.
I don’t have a huge repertoire of vegetarian options…. but I can certainly do better than soup, pasta or chips! I am sure others could to.