Boost for tourism in Ireland as visitors flock to the Emerald Isle

The tourism sector has been given a boost as new figures show visitors arriving to the Emerald Isle are up 4.2% for the first half of 2017, writes Ciara Phelan.

The growth has been buoyed up by a strong number of North Americans visiting but trips to Ireland by British residents has fallen by 6.4% in the three months to June.

Here is a list of the main findings which compares the period to the end of June with the same period in 2016.

  • Overall trips to Ireland were up by 4.2% to 4.566 million visits;
  • North America was up by 21.6% to 0.922 million visits;
  • Visits from Mainland Europe were up by 5.9% to 1.618 million visits;

  • Visits from the rest of the world increased by 20.6% to 0.28 million visits;
  • Great Britain registered a decrease of 6.4% to 1.745 million visits.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said he was very pleased with the increase and that this was the best ever month of June for Irish tourism but explained the impact on British tourists visiting Ireland.

"The decline in the value of sterling has made holidays and short breaks here more expensive for British visitors; and economic uncertainty is undoubtedly making British travellers more cautious about their discretionary spending," he said.

"This is impacting on travel to Ireland. Therefore, competitiveness and the value for money message are more important than ever in Britain right now.

"Tourism Ireland is placing a greater focus on our ‘culturally curious’ audience, who are less impacted by currency fluctuations.

"We are also undertaking an expanded partnership programme with airlines, ferry operators and tour operators, communicating a strong price-led message."

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