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26 May 2016

Tourism Ireland welcomes strong +16% growth in overseas visitors for February-April 2016

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 February to April, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures represent an excellent start to the year. Our aim is to ensure that 2016 is another record-breaking year for Irish tourism and already we have seen an exceptional performance from North America for the three-month period of February to April – up almost +20% 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.

Niall Gibbons continued: “I also welcome the strong increase in British visitors (+18.6%), our largest market for overseas tourism. Mainland Europe has also turned in a stellar performance (+13%) – with important markets like Italy (+14%), Spain (almost 17%), France (+10%), Germany (+7.4%), the Nordic region (+11.5%) and Benelux (+31%) all showing record growth. 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.”

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.