'Continuing weak trend' in overseas visitors to Ireland

'Continuing weak trend' in overseas visitors to Ireland

The number of trips to Ireland by overseas visitors increased by 2.1% in September, compared to the same month last year.

British visitors numbers went up by 6% while other European visitor numbers rose by 3.6%.

There was a slight increase of just over 1% in the numbers travelling from long haul routes.

However, there was a 4% drop in the numbers travelling from North America to Ireland in September.

"The CSO figures continue to indicate a very mixed picture – with a small increase in arrivals from Britain (+0.6%), a modest performance from Mainland Europe (+2%), arrivals from North America up +3.7% and from long-haul markets up +6%," said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.

"However, North America is showing a weaker pattern as the year unfolds – down -4% for the month of August.

The figures underline a continuing weak trend and reflect feedback from industry partners on the ground who have been experiencing weaker demand and have expressed concern for the remainder of 2019 and beyond.

The continued uncertainty around Brexit poses a real and ongoing concern for Irish tourism.

According to recent research conducted by Tourism Ireland in Britain, France and Germany, there is a heightened risk of consumers postponing trips due to uncertainty.

"The fall in the value of sterling has made holidays here more expensive for British visitors – and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top source markets," said Mr Gibbons.

"We very much welcome the additional €6 million which was allocated to Tourism Ireland in the recent budget – to be used for promotional campaigns between now and the end of 2019.

"The additional funding allows us to roll out strong end-of-year campaigns, which will deliver a message of reassurance to prospective visitors around the world.

"This funding will also complement our existing programme of activity for Q4, allowing us to undertake kick-start campaigns in our key markets, to position us well for 2020."

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