20 Dec 2013

Commenting on the CSO figures issued today about overseas tourism to Ireland for the third quarter (July-September) 2013, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said:“Today’s figures from the CSO show a very welcome increase in overseas tourism earnings of +19.3% for the third quarter of 2013. I am also pleased to see growth of +8% in holidaymakers. This growth has being driven by strong increases in visitor numbers from almost all of our markets worldwide. In fact, we have seen the best performances ever this year from North America, Germany, France, Spain and from our long-haul markets – with Australia and New Zealand in particular driving that growth. Other Mainland European markets, like the Nordic region and Benelux have also performed well. And the British market has also seen growth in visitor numbers in 2013 which is particularly encouraging.”  
At the beginning of this month, Tourism Ireland launched its marketing plans to promote Ireland in 2014 and beyond, with ambitious targets to welcome 8.9 million visitors per year by 2016, including almost 4.3 million holidaymakers (+16% over 2013). Commenting on the plans for the next three years, Niall Gibbons said: “Following a successful 2013, ambitious targets have been set for 2014-2016. Next year, we will place a major focus on promoting the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as on major events like Limerick City of Culture, the ‘Grande Partenza’ of the Giro d’Italia and the Croke Park Classic, when the University of Central Florida takes on Penn State in their college football season opener. We will also build on the legacy of the Gathering, continuing to reach out to the Diaspora across the world.” 
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland          
Tel: 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.
By the end of 2013, an estimated 8 million overseas visitors will have come to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.64 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
Tourism Ireland’s international website is, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.


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