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28 Jan 2019

Tourism Ireland welcomes growth of +6.9% in overseas visitors for January-December 2018

Commenting on figures published today by the CSO for overseas arrivals to Ireland for January to December 2018, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures confirm that 2018 was another record year for overseas tourism to Ireland, with more than 10.6 million overseas arrivals – an increase of +6.9%, or 684,200 additional overseas arrivals, when compared with 2017.

“We’ve seen excellent results from North America in 2018 – with almost 2.4 million visitors, up +13.4% on 2017. Ireland welcomes 10% of all American visitors to Europe – particularly noteworthy given the intense competition from other destinations. We have also seen record numbers arriving here from Australia and developing markets (+6.7%); and from Mainland Europe (+9.5%), with important markets like Germany and Italy recording really good growth. Increases in direct air access, plus our market diversification strategy, have been key factors. Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America and Mainland Europe, as markets which offer a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure. 

“While we welcome the fact that arrivals from Britain are up almost +1%, the continued uncertainty around Brexit, and its impact on outbound travel from Britain, remains a real concern.
 
“Our focus now is on the year ahead. Tourism Ireland’s campaigns are in full swing, to build on the success of 2018. Our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue in 2019 to €6.5 billion, for the island of Ireland.”

 

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.
  • In 2018, we welcomed around 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland (+6% on 2017), delivering revenue of approximately €6.1 billion (+10%).
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 20+ million visitors in 2018