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28 Jan 2020

Tourism Ireland comments on CSO figures indicating modest growth of +1.8% in overseas visitors for January to December 2019

Commenting on figures published today by the CSO for overseas arrivals to Ireland for January to December 2019, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures from the CSO indicate that overseas arrivals increased by +1.8% in 2019, over 191,000 more than in 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 (+0.8%), a modest performance from both Mainland Europe (+2.6%) and North America (+1.2%) and arrivals from long-haul markets up +5.5%. However, North America has seen a disappointing decline of -5% for the month of December alone. There’s been a deterioration in air access capacity from North America this winter, with a -9% decline.

“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. 

“Our focus now is on the year ahead. Tourism Ireland’s campaigns are in full swing, to surpass the performance of 2019. The aim of our three-year strategy for 2020-2022 is to grow overseas tourism revenue to €6.54 billion (+13%) and visitor numbers to 12 million (+7%), by 2022. Tourism Ireland aims to spread the benefits of tourism more broadly across the island of Ireland, on a year-round basis.”


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 2019, we welcomed almost 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of around €5.8 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 23+ million visitors in 2019.