Positive start to the year as Tourism Ireland rolls out its promotional programme around the world, aiming to make 2016 another record year for Irish tourism
Commenting on today’s figures from the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland for the first quarter of 2016, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures represent an excellent start to the year, as we roll out our promotional programme around the world. It was the best ever March and the best ever first quarter for Irish tourism. I am really pleased to see overseas visitor numbers up almost +17% – that’s a quarter of a million additional visitors when compared with the first quarter of 2015. I welcome the strong increase in visitors from Britain (+17%), our largest market for overseas tourism. Mainland Europe has also performed extremely well (+14%), with important markets like France (+12%), Germany (+21%), Spain (+13%), Benelux (+31%) and the Nordic countries (+24%) turning in stellar performances. And it’s another record first quarter for visitor numbers from North America, up +24.5% on the same three-month period in 2015; 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 +8%."
Niall Gibbons continued: “These 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. Our focus now is on surpassing last year’s success, to ensure that 2016 is another record-breaking year for overseas tourism. Promoting the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route continues to be a major focus for Tourism Ireland. We are also showcasing Ireland’s Ancient East and Dublin ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’."
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 220,000 people.
- In 2015, we welcomed more than 9.3 million overseas visitors to Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.7 billion.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.