Commenting on figures published today by the CSO for overseas arrivals to Ireland for January to October 2019, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures from the CSO indicate that overseas arrivals increased by +2.2% in the first ten months of 2019, almost 203,000 more than in January-October 2018.
“2019 has presented a mixed picture for Irish tourism and this is reflected in today’s CSO figures. We’ve seen a small increase in arrivals from Britain (+1%), a modest performance from both Mainland Europe (+2.7%) and North America (+2.4%) and arrivals from long-haul markets up +5.7%. However, North America has shown a weaker pattern as the year unfolds – down -8.8% for the month of October alone. The decision by Norwegian to discontinue its transatlantic services in September 2018 meant the removal of almost 5,300 airline seats per week between North America and Ireland.
“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.
“The additional funding allocated to Tourism Ireland in Budget 2020, in response to the Brexit challenge for Irish tourism, means that Tourism Ireland is rolling out a number of end-of-year kick-start promotional campaigns right now – in the US, Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries – to kick-start our promotional effort and position us well for 2020. Next week, we will outline our plans for 2020, when we will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that the island of Ireland continues to increase its share of the global travel business.”
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.