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19 Dec 2019

Tourism Ireland comments on CSO figures indicating modest growth of +1.5% in overseas tourists for January-November 2019

Commenting on figures published today by the CSO for overseas tourists to Ireland for January to November 2019, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures from the CSO indicate that overseas tourists increased by +1.5% in the first eleven months of 2019, around 150,500 more than in January-November 2018. 

“2019 has been a mixed year for Irish tourism and this is reflected in today’s CSO figures. We’ve seen a small increase in tourists from Britain (+0.2%), a modest performance from both Mainland Europe (+2%) and North America (+1.6%) and tourists from long-haul markets up +5.6%. However, the month of November alone has seen a disappointing decline of -7.1% – with a decline in tourists from Britain (-7.4%), Mainland Europe (-6.8%) and North America (-9.5%).

“The figures very much reflect feedback from our industry partners on the ground, who’ve seen weaker demand this year. The continued uncertainty around Brexit is giving rise to consumer concern in Britain and some Mainland European markets. There’s also been a deterioration in air access capacity this year, with a -4% decline for this winter.

“We recently launched our new three-year strategy for 2020-2022 and our marketing plans for next year. The aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue to €6.54 billion (+13%) and visitor numbers to 12 million (+7%), by 2022. Tourism Ireland aims to spread the benefits of tourism more broadly across the island of Ireland on a year-round basis and to address the issues of capacity, to ensure the visitor experience continues to be world-class.”


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 2019, we will have welcomed almost 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of almost €5.8 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 23+ million visitors in 2019.