Commenting on figures published today by the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland for the first quarter of 2019, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures from the CSO confirm that overseas visitor numbers grew by +6% in the first three months of 2019. However, spend is down -4%, with North America the only market area showing revenue growth (+3%). Visitor numbers from Mainland Europe and long-haul markets are up – but they spent fewer nights here, so spend by those visitors is down. Holiday visitor numbers increased by +5%, with spend on a par with 2018.
“We are in constant contact with our tourism partners around the country and we know that growth in overseas tourism is not being felt evenly across the industry. Following several years of growth, we are very much aware that this year will be more challenging.
“Britain remains our most challenging market for the peak season. While we welcome the fact that visitor numbers from Britain are up +2% for January-March, we know that currency fluctuations and the Brexit extension continue to cause uncertainty and may affect travel demand for the summer season. Last week, we launched a new strategy for the British market; we will continue to monitor the market closely, working in conjunction with our British-based Brexit Taskforce.”
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.