Welcoming figures published by the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland between November 2016 and January 2017, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures represent a very positive start to 2017, as we roll out our promotional programme around the world. I am very pleased to see an increase in overseas visitor numbers of +7.2% between November 2016 and January 2017, about 126,400 additional visitors when compared with the same three-month period last year. I am delighted to report that growth was recorded from all of our markets around the world – with exceptional results from North America (+30.8% on 2016). Ireland now welcomes 10% of all American visitors to Europe – particularly noteworthy given the intense competition from other destinations. We have also seen continued growth from Britain (+3.3%), Mainland Europe (+2.3%) and our long-haul markets (+11.4%). And, it is particularly encouraging that we’ve seen +8.3% growth in overseas visitors in the month of January alone.
“Our focus now is on the year ahead. Our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue in 2017 by +4.5%, to €5.7 billion, for the island of Ireland. Our promotions will receive a tremendous boost next month, with our Global Greening initiative for St Patrick’s Day set to be even bigger and better than ever before. St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us and we will be taking every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile.”
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 2016, we welcomed approximately 10.5 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.4 billion.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 19.37 million visitors in 2016.