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28 Apr 2015

Tourism Ireland welcomes exceptional +14% growth in overseas visitors for the first quarter of 2015

Positive start to the year as Tourism Ireland rolls out its promotional programme around the world, aiming to make 2015 best year ever for Irish tourism

Commenting on today's figures from the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland for the first quarter of 2015, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said:

“Today’s figures represent a stunning start to the year. Our aim is to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism and already we have seen an exceptional performance from Mainland Europe in the first quarter (+18%) – with important markets like France (+26%), Italy (+36%) and Spain (+28%) turning in stellar performances. And it’s another record first quarter for visitor numbers from North America – up +7% on the same three-month period in 2014; Ireland now welcomes 10% of all American visitors to Europe – particularly noteworthy given the intense competition from other destinations. It’s also been another record first quarter for our longer-haul markets, up +9%; and I also welcome the strong increase in British visitors (+14%), our largest market for overseas tourism. Today’s figures very much reflect the sentiment expressed by our tourism industry partners overseas, including tour operators and carriers, as well as tourism businesses here at home.”

Niall Gibbons continued: “Our strategy of focusing investment in key markets is paying dividends. Our strong position in digital media is also helping to drive growth; Tourism Ireland is now the third largest tourism board in the world on Facebook, with almost 3 million fans, and the second largest on Twitter, with more than 270,000 followers.

“Promoting the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route continues to be a major focus for Tourism Ireland around the world in 2015; we are also showcasing the new Dublin Discovery Trail. This year marks 150 years since the birth of world-renowned Irish poet and Nobel laureate, WB Yeats, and Tourism Ireland is promoting Yeats 2015 – particularly to our ‘culturally curious’ audience. This year has also been designated ID2015 (the year of Irish design), a showcase of the best of Irish design.”

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 2014, we welcomed an estimated 8.6 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.26 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.Ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, Ireland.com attracted about 14.25 million visitors.

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