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12 Dec 2018

Tourism Ireland welcomes +7.3% growth in spend by overseas visitors and +11% growth in holiday visitors for January-September 2018

Commenting on today’s CSO figures for the first nine months of 2018, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s CSO figures are very strong, confirming that revenue from overseas visitors to Ireland grew by more than +7% during January-September 2018, more than €270 million additional revenue for the Irish economy compared with the first nine months in 2017. Total overseas arrivals grew by almost +7%. Within the total number of overseas visitors to Ireland, holiday visitors grew by +11% – that’s around 400,000 additional holiday visitors. 

“Particularly welcome is the continued strong performance from North America, with an increase of +13.4% in visitors and +13.5% in spend; and from Mainland Europe, with growth of almost +9% in visitors and almost +8% in revenue. This means that spending by visitors from North America and Mainland Europe to Ireland has significantly outpaced British visitor spend in the first nine months of the year. Tourism Ireland’s market diversification strategy has prioritised North America and Mainland Europe as markets which offer a strong return on investment.

“We welcome the fact that visitor numbers from Britain have increased slightly (+1%), at the same time noting the decline in spend by British visitors (-1%). The continued uncertainty around Brexit, and its impact on outbound travel from Britain, remains a real concern. We will continue to work closely with our tourism industry partners here in Ireland and in Britain – to discuss how Tourism Ireland and the tourism industry can best respond to the challenges posed by Brexit as we plan for 2019 and beyond. Maintaining our competitiveness is critical, to continue to grow tourism from overseas.

Niall Gibbons continued: “We’ve just launched our marketing plans for 2019, which will see us build on this year’s growth to deliver €6.5 billion (+6%) in overseas tourism revenue to the island of Ireland, by welcoming 11.67 million visitors.”

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 around 325,000 people across the island.
  • By the end of 2018, we will have welcomed around 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €6.1 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.2 million visitors in 2017.