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26 Jun 2019

Tourism Ireland welcomes growth of +3.7 % in overseas visitors for January-May 2019

Month of May continues to show underlying weak trend with a fall of -0.4%

Commenting on figures published today by the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland for January-May 2019, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures from the CSO indicate that overseas arrivals increased by +3.7% in the first five months of 2019, around 140,600 more than in January-May 2018. However, the month of May has shown a continuing weak trend – with a fall of -0.4%. 

“North America and long-haul markets continue to show consistent growth so far throughout the year – North America grew by +9.1% in the first five months of 2019, an extra 67,700 US and Canadian arrivals, and long-haul markets are up +7.2%.

“However, Britain and Mainland Europe have shown a weaker pattern as the year unfolds – with Britain down -4.4% and Mainland Europe down -4.6% for the month of May. This leaves both market areas up slightly for the year overall, with Britain up by +0.8% and Mainland Europe by +3.2% for the January-May period. 

“The summer air access picture is still positive with +2% more seats available and new services coming on stream, including the new American Airlines flight from Dallas to Dublin just launched this month. However, feedback from industry on the ground suggests weaker demand and a late booking pattern, with concern being expressed for the second half of 2019.

“Brexit remains an ongoing challenge, giving rise to consumer concern particularly in Britain and some Mainland European markets. We will continue to monitor the situation closely with industry colleagues. 

“Tourism Ireland will continue to roll out its extensive programme of promotional activity in markets around the world as we face into the second half of 2019.”


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, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 20+ million visitors in 2018.

Previous Press Release

25 Jun 2019

French travel writers sail to Ireland