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30 Jul 2015

Tourism Ireland welcomes +9% growth in overseas visitors to Northern Ireland for January-March 2015

Strong growth of +13% in overseas holiday visitors in Q1 2015 as Tourism Ireland rolls out its promotional programme around the world

Commenting on today’s figures from NISRA for overseas visitors to Northern Ireland for January to March 2015, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s NISRA figures indicate that we welcomed almost 350,000 overseas visitors to Northern Ireland in the first quarter of 2015, an increase of +9% over the same three-month period in 2014. Growth was driven by visitors from our main markets of North America (+19%), GB (+8%) and Mainland Europe (+8%). I am particularly pleased to see growth of +13% in holidaymakers from overseas, with significant increases recorded from GB (+16%) and North America (+10%).

“Overseas tourism delivers some £446 million for the Northern Ireland economy, helping to sustain valuable employment in communities right across the province. And, I am pleased to report that sentiment in general for 2015 from our tourism partners overseas (including tour operators and carriers), as well as our industry partners around Northern Ireland (including hoteliers and visitor attractions such as Titanic Belfast), is largely optimistic.”

Niall Gibbons continued: “Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive marketing campaign throughout 2015, to continue to growth visitor numbers to Northern Ireland. Promoting the Causeway Coastal Route and driving holidays in Northern Ireland continues to be a major focus. We are highlighting new visitor experiences for 2015, including the refurbished Mount Stewart and the Gobbins Coastal Walk. And we continue to highlight iconic attractions such as Titanic Belfast and festivals like the Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival.”

Since Tourism Ireland was established, almost 23 million overseas visitors have come to Northern Ireland, generating approximately £4.7 billion for the economy, against a total investment in overseas marketing of £187 million. Northern Ireland’s share of overseas visitors to the island of Ireland is now 21%.

Notes To Editors