Ireland sees increase in number of tourists

Figures from the Central Statistics Office show more than 6.5 million tourists have come to Ireland so far this year.

The CSO statistics confirm that Ireland welcomed 6,714,600 overseas visitors during the period January to August this year.

This means 161,800 more visitors made the trip to our shores than in the same eight-month period last year.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: "It comes on the back of a record performance in 2016 and years of solid growth in overseas tourism.

"North America and our long-haul markets continue to perform very well. Arrivals from North America are up 17.9% for January to August; and visitors from Australia and Developing Markets grew by 16.9% in the same period. Arrivals from Mainland Europe also grew by 3.2%. Increases in direct air access, plus our market diversification strategy, have been key factors.

"However, the decline in visitor numbers from Britain continues to be a real concern, down 7.1% for the January to August period. The fall in the value of sterling has made holidays and short breaks here more expensive for British visitors and made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top markets.

"Economic uncertainty is also making British travellers more cautious about their discretionary spending, which is impacting on travel to Ireland."

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