New figures have shown that people in Ireland are spending more on holidays and are going away for longer periods.

New figures have shown that people in Ireland are spending more on holidays and are going away for longer periods.

According to the Irish Independent, data from the Central Statistics Office show that 18 per cent more people are going on holiday this year than they were last, while spending on breaks increased by 21 per cent.

It was also discovered that more people are choosing holidays to Thailand, with the country seeing 1,600 more visits from Irish tourists in 2008 than it did the previous year.

Simon Nugent, cheof executive of the Irish Travel Agents’ Association, said: “Irish people have got the travel bug and they are not going to give it up.The last thing people would surrender are their hard-earned breaks.”

Last month, a travel expert advised people thinking of booking flights to Thailand not to be put off by its backpacker image.

Alison Cook, editor of Luxury Travel magazine, said that the country is no longer simply a place for gap-year students, but that it now appeals to a wide range of audiences, including those on their honeymoon.

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