Friday 21 October 2016

Visitor numbers soar as 2.3 million splash out €1.5bn

Guinness Storehouse
Guinness Storehouse

Over 2.3 million visitors came to Ireland between April and June of this year - an increase of over 218,000 people on the same period in 2014 - representing a total increase of 10.3pc year-on-year.

While the nation experienced a boost in numbers, those visiting were spending less time in the country.

The average number of days spent here by tourists dropped from an average of 7.1 days to seven.

The new figures, released today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), show tourists splashed out €253m more than they did last year.

Excluding fares, revenue grew by some 17.7pc from €1.3bn to €1.5bn.

Visitors from North America represented 34pc of the overall spend, while tourists from mainland Europe represented 15pc and Britain 8pc.

The numbers coming to our shores for business fell from 365,000 to 344,000.

However, the number of holidaymakers grew from 957,000 to 1.1 million.

Numbers visiting family and friends also increased from 574,000 to 588,000.

Commenting on the figures, Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe said revenue generated by visitors "confirms yet again that tourism is continuing to generate significant economic activity".

"The Government's Tourism policy, 'People, Place and Policy - Growing Tourism to 2025', acknowledges that generating increased levels of overseas revenue is key for the future of Irish tourism.

"The Government's ambition is that overseas tourism revenue will reach €5bn by 2025," Mr Donohoe added.

Failte Ireland also welcomed the figures, however CEO Shaun Quinn emphasised the need to guard against complacency.

"As expected, all our key markets are delivering extra visitors and revenue as benign currency exchange rates help boost the sector's performance.

"This is very much to be welcomed, but we must guard against complacency. We need tourism growth to be 'ever-green' and not cyclical," he said.

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