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29 Jul 2016

Tourism Ireland welcomes exceptional +13% growth in overseas visitors for first half of 2016

On track for another record year for Irish tourism in 2016 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, 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 4.4 million arrivals recorded, representing an increase of +13% – more than half a million additional overseas visitors when compared with H1 last year. Our aim is to ensure that 2016 is another record-breaking year for Irish tourism. We have seen exceptional results from North America for the first half – up +15% on the same six-month period in 2015. I also welcome the strong increase in British visitors (almost +16%). Mainland Europe has also turned in a superb performance (+11%), with important markets like Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the Benelux countries all showing really good growth.”

Niall Gibbons continued: “The outcome of the recent EU referendum in the UK has given rise to economic uncertainty and currency movements, which have the capacity to hamper growth. Although it is still too soon to fully understand the long-term implications of Brexit for tourism to the island of Ireland, Tourism Ireland has been monitoring the possible implications of Brexit, liaising with our key stakeholders, at home and overseas. The British market will remain of significant importance for all of us in the short, medium and long-term. For Tourism Ireland, the message is very much business as usual. Our €4 million promotional campaign will roll out in Britain from now until the end of the year, to highlight the island of Ireland to prospective visitors and maintain the strong growth we have seen in recent years.”


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 2015, we welcomed more than 8.6 million overseas visitors to Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.2 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.