14 Nov 2011

Welcoming the CSO figures issued today for overseas visitor numbers to Ireland for the period January-September 2011, Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “2011 appears to mark a turning point for Irish tourism, with CSO figures for the first nine months of the year showing growth of +10% in overseas visitor numbers, which is very good news for everyone in the tourism industry.  Particularly welcome is the continued positive performance from Great Britain, our largest and most important tourism market, which grew by +7.4% during this nine-month period.  Visitor numbers from North America are up +10.7% and from Mainland Europe up +12.3%, over the same nine-month period in 2010.  Australia and developing markets (+15.1%) have recorded a very strong performance and have now almost returned to the record level of the peak years. 

Niall Gibbons continued: “Tourism Ireland has been working hard all year, to keep the island of Ireland ‘top of mind’ for people around the world who can be persuaded to take a holiday or short break overseas.  At the end of this month, we will outline our plans for 2012, when we will be pulling out all the stops to build on this growth and working to ensure that the island of Ireland increases its share of the global travel business.”

Overseas tourism has a critical role to play in contributing to Ireland’s economic recovery.  Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% (approximately €3.1 billion) of all tourism revenue and has the capacity to deliver even more for Ireland as part of an export-led economic renewal.  Tourism is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, contributing in excess of 4% of GNP and providing employment for over 200,000 people in every community throughout the island.

Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland  t:  087 685 9027

Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• Approximately 6.7 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately €3 billion.  Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.



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