Commenting on the CSO figures issued today for overseas visitor numbers to Ireland for the three-month period August to October 2012, Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Despite the global economic landscape which continues to present a challenging environment for travel, I am pleased to see growth of almost +2% for the three-month period August to October 2012.
“Business from Mainland Europe continues to perform well, with Germany having an excellent year (+11% for the period August-October); and other important markets like Italy and Spain also recording good growth. The all-important North American market is also performing very well and looks increasingly set to have a record year, with visitor numbers up +15% for August-October. Longer-haul markets are also performing well (almost +2% for August-October).
“The pace of economic recovery in Great Britain and weak consumer confidence are still having a significant impact on outbound travel, with British visitor numbers down -4.5% for the three-month period. For 2013, we will roll out a new plan, together with our industry partners – “GB Path to Growth” – to return this, our largest market, to sustained growth.
“Tomorrow (Thursday), we will launch our marketing plans for 2013 to tourism industry leaders from around Ireland, when we will unveil our strategic priorities for next year. Throughout 2013, we will continue to highlight The Gathering Ireland, which presents an unprecedented opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on Ireland around the world. We will also unveil details of our brand new website at our launch event tomorrow.”
Overseas tourism has a critical role to play in contributing to Ireland’s economic recovery. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% (approximately €3.5 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 almost 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.
• In 2011, approximately 7.3 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland (+4% on 2010), delivering revenue of approximately €3.4 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent. In 2011, discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ will be Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative and will consist of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country.
• Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world this autumn, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.