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24 Oct 2019

Tourism Ireland comments on CSO figures indicating modest growth of +2.2% in overseas visitors for January-September 2019

Commenting on figures published today by the CSO for overseas arrivals to Ireland for January to September 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 nine months of 2019, around 179,400 more than in January-September 2018.

“The CSO figures continue to indicate a very mixed picture – with a small increase in arrivals from Britain (+0.6%), a modest performance from Mainland Europe (+2%), arrivals from North America up +3.7% and from long-haul markets up +6%. However, North America is showing a weaker pattern as the year unfolds – down -4% for the month of September.

“The figures underline a continuing weak trend and reflect feedback from industry partners on the ground who have been experiencing weaker demand and have expressed concern for the remainder of 2019 and beyond. The uncertainty around Brexit is a very real and ongoing challenge for Irish tourism, giving rise to consumer concern in Britain and some Mainland European markets. Our latest wave of Brexit research – carried out in Britain, France and Germany – indicates a heightened risk of consumers postponing trips, due to uncertainty.

“Also, the fall in the value of sterling has made holidays here more expensive for British visitors – and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top source markets. We will continue to monitor the situation closely with our industry colleagues.
“Our autumn campaigns are under way in markets across the world, highlighting compelling reasons to visit for the rest of the year. Upcoming promotions include a significant presence at World Travel Market in London, with around 80 Irish tourism partners, and our ‘Fill Your Heart With Ireland’ travel trade and media blitz to the United States next month.

“We very much welcome the additional €6 million which was allocated to Tourism Ireland in the recent budget – to be used for promotional campaigns between now and the end of 2019. The additional funding allows us to roll out strong end-of-year campaigns, which will deliver a message of reassurance to prospective visitors around the world. This funding will also complement our existing programme of activity for Q4, allowing us to undertake kick-start campaigns in our key markets, to position us well for 2020.


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.