2016 was a record year for overseas visitors from Australia and Developing Markets to the island of Ireland.
While three-quarters of our overseas visitors come from our top four markets (GB, the US, Germany and France), it is important to expand our focus beyond the traditional markets to the longer-term opportunities presented by emerging and developing markets like Australia/New Zealand, the Middle East, India and China.
Recent results published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) confirm that revenue from Australia and Developing Markets (ADM) visitors to Ireland increased by +9% in 2016 to €522 million – delivering an additional €41 million to the Irish economy when compared to 2015. Visitors from Australia and Developing Markets to Ireland increased by +3% in 2016 to 509,000 arrivals – an additional 13,000 visitors when compared to the previous year.
Results for the nine-months of 2016 from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) suggest that ADM visitor revenue to Northern Ireland increased by +13% to €38 million and ADM visitors to Northern Ireland grew by +8% to 108,000 compared to the same period in 2015.
The British-Irish Visa Scheme has opened up new opportunities in some of these markets and is making it easier for visitors from countries like India and China to come to the island of Ireland. It enables relevant visitors to travel freely between Ireland and the United Kingdom using either an Irish or a UK visa.