CSO figures show more tourists are coming to Ireland

Niall Gibbons

Figures released today by the Central Statistics Office show an increase in the number of tourists coming to Ireland.

The CSO numbers show that overseas visitor numbers grew by 273,300, an increase of 7.6% on the same period in 2017, from 3,572,900 to 3,846,200.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, welcomed the news saying: “North America continues to perform extremely well – with arrivals up 12.4%, around 82,000 additional US and Canadian visitors.

"We’ve also seen excellent results from Mainland Europe, up 12.3% on January-May last year, with particularly strong performances from Germany (+25.6%) and Italy (+16%).

“While we welcome the fact that arrivals from Britain are up 2.4%, it’s too early to say if this represents a turnaround in the long-term trend.

The impact of Brexit on outbound travel from Britain, therefore, remains a concern.

"The fall in the value of sterling has made holidays and short breaks here more expensive for British visitors and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top markets. Competitiveness and value for money remain more important than ever in Britain this year."

Mr Gibbons said the increase in the number of airline seats from Britain, Mainland Europe, North American and long-haul markets was positive for Ireland's tourist industry.

He said: "We look forward to seeing the impact of new long-haul flights on Irish tourism this summer – including the new Aer Lingus service from Seattle to Dublin, which began last month, as well as the Hainan Airlines flight from Beijing and the Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong, which both kicked off earlier this month.

“We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues.

"Our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue in 2018 to €6bn, for the island of Ireland.”

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