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17 Nov 2016

Tourism Ireland welcomes +9% growth in overseas visitors and +14% growth in revenue to Northern Ireland for January-June 2016

Strong +16% growth in overseas holiday visitors in H1 2016 as Tourism Ireland rolls out its promotional programme around the world

Tourism Ireland has welcomed the figures for overseas visitors to Northern Ireland for the first half of 2016, issued by NISRA today. The figures confirm that we welcomed 940,335 overseas visitors in H1, up +9.2% on H1 2015. Holiday visitors grew by +16% and, more importantly for the economy, revenue from overseas visitors to Northern Ireland grew by +14% (£245 million).

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Figures published by NISRA today confirm that we welcomed over 940,000 overseas visitors to Northern Ireland in the first half of 2016, an increase of +9.2% over the same six-month period in 2015. I am particularly pleased to see growth of +16% in holidaymakers from overseas, with a significant increase recorded from GB (+29%). Overseas visitors delivered more than £245 million for the local economy, up +14% on the first half of 2015.

“And, I am pleased to report that sentiment expressed by our tourism partners overseas (including tour operators and carriers), as well as our industry partners here in Northern Ireland (including hoteliers and visitor attractions), suggests that growth from overseas continued into the high summer and autumn seasons.”

Niall Gibbons continued: “This was a good first half performance and we are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. Next month, we will outline our plans for 2017, when we will be pulling out all the stops to keep this momentum going and ensure that Northern Ireland continues to increase its share of the global travel business.” 

Overseas tourism delivers about £484 million per year for the Northern Ireland economy, helping to sustain valuable employment in local communities. Since Tourism Ireland came into operation in 2002, more than 23 million overseas visitors have come to Northern Ireland, generating almost £5 billion for the economy

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is responsible for in excess of 5.2% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 43,000 jobs.
  • In 2015, we welcomed almost 2 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £484 million. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted more than 16.6 million visitors in 2015.