Commenting on the CSO figures issued today about overseas tourism to Ireland for the six-month period January to June 2013, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures from the CSO show a very welcome increase in overseas tourism earnings of +8% for the first half of the year. I am also pleased to see growth of +8% in holidaymakers. This growth is being driven by strong increases in visitor numbers from almost all of our markets worldwide. We are seeing record growth this year from North America; and from our long-haul markets – with Australia and New Zealand in particular driving that growth. Mainland European markets, like Germany, the Nordic region and Benelux, are also performing well.
“Our autumn campaign is now in full swing – we have a really extensive programme in place between now and the end of the year, targeting late-season travellers around the world. Prospects and sentiment for 2014 are positive; and upcoming tourism sales missions with our tourism partners from around Ireland – to the United States, China and South Africa – will seek to keep this momentum going and build on the positive legacy of 2013.”