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Tourism Still On The Rise


Tourism Still On The Rise

The number of overseas visits to Ireland is still on the rise. Since December 2015 there has been a 17.1% increase in tourism. Last year was a record year for Irish Tourism, with 3,046,500 visitors from the UK, Europe, North America and other areas visiting Ireland during the period of January – May 2015.

A Tourism Action Plan was set out earlier this year by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD. This is a three year plan, covering the period 2016 – 2018, and aims to accumulate €5 billion in overseas tourism by the year 2025 – calculated at 10 million visits per year. The Plan also set targets to create 250,000 new jobs in the tourism sector.

Minister Michael Ring commented on the latest figures released by the CSO: “Further positive data in relation to our visit numbers is very encouraging for the tourism sector. I am sure that the visitors we have welcomed so far this year have enjoyed everything that we have to offer, including, most recently, the St. Patrick’s Festival which started the tourism season in spectacular style. Our tourism industry has an exciting range of festivals and events lined up for visitors to experience for the remainder of the year.”

The 2016 commemoration celebrations have had a positive impact  on tourism so far, with more visitors visiting the island than any other year. January and February saw 1 million visitors enter the country. Comparing the three-month period December 2015  to February 2016 with the period December 2014 to February 2015, overall trips to Ireland were up by 17.1% to 1,690,400 – an overall increase of 247,000. North America was up by 13% to 199,100 trips; visits from Mainland Europe were up by 14.4% to 550,000; visits from the rest of the world increased by 8.8% to 102,600; and Great Britain registered an increase of 21.2% up to 838,800 in visits, according to latest CSO statistics.

“While this visitor data relates to a small share of the overall season, it is nonetheless very encouraging, particularly when combined with industry reports of strong trading over both the St. Patrick’s Festival and the Easter period. Obviously, the sector is very susceptible to external factors and consequently sustained tourism growth must be increasingly driven by the strength and international appeal of our brands, like the Wild Atlantic Way, and by ensuring that we continue to provide excellent value for money and top quality as in recent years,” Shaun Quinn, CEO at Fáilte Ireland commented.

Other figures released was the total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents during the period December 2015 to February 2016 – 7.7%, a total of 1,363,000 Irish tourists made their way abroad. The total number of trips (Irish residents’ trips overseas plus trips to Ireland) in the period December 2015 to February 2016 increased by 12.7% to 3,053,400 when compared with the same period twelve months earlier.


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