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25 May 2017

Tourism Ireland welcomes +9% growth in overseas visitors and +12% growth in revenue to Northern Ireland for 2016

Strong +15% growth in overseas holiday visitors for 2016

Tourism Ireland has welcomed the figures for overseas visitors to Northern Ireland for 2016, issued by NISRA today. The figures confirm that we welcomed a record 2.1 million overseas visitors – up +9%, or almost 168,000 additional overseas visitors, on 2015. Holiday visitors accounted for more than 684,000 overseas visitors (up +15% on 2015); and, more importantly for the economy, revenue from overseas visitors to Northern Ireland grew by +12% (over £543 million).

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Figures published by NISRA today confirm that we welcomed a record 2.1 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland during 2016, an increase of +9% over 2015. Visitor numbers from Mainland Europe grew by +15%, from GB by +7% and from North America by +9%. Overseas visitors delivered more than £543 million for the local economy, up +12%. Overseas holidaymakers increased by +15% in 2016 – a continuation of the positive trend since 2011, which has seen overseas holiday visitors grow by +58.7% and overseas holiday revenue by+79.5%.

“Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that tourism growth continues and we are rolling out an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2017, to highlight Northern Ireland around the world. We are highlighting iconic experiences like Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway and our unique National Trust properties. And, once again, we will join forces with Game of Thrones creators HBO this summer, leveraging the huge popularity of the TV series to showcase Northern Ireland. Tourism Ireland will leverage the tourism benefits of the semi-finals and final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup, which will take place in Belfast in August. Our activity also includes a focus on golf and we’re taking every opportunity to highlight the 2017 Irish Open at Portstewart and the fact that Royal Portrush will host The Open in 2019.

“Our priority markets are GB, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and Developing Markets. We will continue to monitor the implications of Brexit on outbound travel from GB. We are committed to ensuring that Northern Ireland continues to increase its share of the global travel business.” 

Overseas tourism delivered over £543 million in 2016 for the Northern Ireland economy, helping to sustain over 61,300 jobs in local communities. Since Tourism Ireland was established, 25.3 million overseas visitors have come to Northern Ireland (2012-2016), generating approximately £5.6 billion for the economy. 


Notes To Editors


Previous Press Release

24 May 2017

Growing tourism from the United States and Germany