Commenting on figures published today by the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland for January to September 2017, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures confirm that we welcomed 7,661,200 overseas visitors during the period January to September this year. This represents growth of almost +3% – or 216,000 additional visitors – on the same nine-month period last year, coming on the back of a record performance in 2016 and years of solid growth in overseas tourism.
“The decline in visitor numbers from Britain continues to be a real concern, down -6.7% for the January to September 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. This year, Tourism Ireland has placed a greater focus on our ‘culturally curious’ audience, who are less impacted by currency fluctuations. However, competitiveness and the value for money message are more important than ever in Britain right now.
“However, North America and our long-haul markets continue to perform very well. Arrivals from the US and Canada are up +18.6% for January to September; and visitors from Australia and Developing Markets grew by +16.2% in the same period. Arrivals from Mainland Europe also grew by +3.5%. Increases in direct air access, plus our market diversification strategy, have been key factors.
“Tourism Ireland’s extensive autumn campaign is in full swing, to promote late season holidays and boost travel into the early part of 2018. This includes ‘Dublin – A Breath of Fresh Air’ campaigns, in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, in the United States, Britain and Mainland Europe. Upcoming promotions – including a significant presence at World Travel Market in London, with about 70 Irish tourism partners, and our ‘Jump into Ireland’ travel trade and media blitz to the United States next month – will help position us well for 2018.”
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.