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23 Jul 2015

Tourism Ireland welcomes exceptional +11.7% growth in overseas visitors for first half of 2015

On track for record year for Irish tourism in 2015 as Tourism Ireland rolls out its promotional programme around the world

Commenting on today’s figures from the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland for January to June 2015, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures indicate that this was the best ever January to June period for overseas visitors to Ireland, with almost 3.9 million arrivals recorded, representing an increase of +11.7% – an additional 407,100 overseas visitors – when compared with January to June 2014. Our aim is to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism. 

“I am delighted to see that growth has been recorded from all of our markets around the world, with record numbers from North America (up almost +15% on the first half of 2014) and our long-haul markets (+12%). Mainland Europe has also turned in a stellar performance (up +13%), with important markets like Germany (+12%), France (+13%), Italy (+32%), Spain (+15%), the Nordic region (+5%) and Benelux (+11%) all recording fantastic growth. I also welcome the strong increase in British visitors (+9.4%), 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: “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 Trails and paving the way for Ireland’s Ancient East and the Gobbins Cliff Path. 2015 marks 150 years since the birth of Nobel laureate, WB Yeats, and Tourism Ireland is promoting Yeats2015 – 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 8.4 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.1 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.