Commenting on figures published today by the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland for January to October 2017, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures confirm that we welcomed 8,531,500 overseas visitors during the period January to October this year. This represents growth of +3.1% – or over a quarter of a million additional visitors – on the same ten-month period last year, coming on the back of a record performance in 2016 and years of solid growth in overseas tourism.
“We have seen exceptional results from North America this year – up +16.4% on January to October last year. I also welcome the growth in visitor numbers from Australia and developing markets (+14.7%) and from Mainland Europe (+4.4%). Increases in direct air access, plus our market diversification strategy, have been key factors.
“The decline in visitor numbers from Britain continues to be a concern, down -6.1% for the January to October period. The fall in the value of sterling has made holidays and short breaks here more expensive for British visitors and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top markets. Tourism Ireland will continue to place a greater focus on our ‘culturally curious’ audience, who are less impacted by currency fluctuations. However, competitiveness and the value for money message remain more important than ever in Britain right now.
“Tourism Ireland has a number of late-season campaigns under way right now, to kick-start our promotional effort for 2018. Next week, we will outline our plans for 2018, when we will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that the island of Ireland continues to increase its share of the global travel business.”
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 over 280,000 people across the island.
- In 2016, we welcomed approximately 10.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.3 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.