Figures from the Central Statistics Office today show that the number of tourists coming to Ireland went up in the first three months of this year.
The statistics show a 15% growth in holiday visitors between last January and March, as compared to the same period in 2017.
The CSO also found that tourism spending went up by 16% in the same three-month period between 2018 and 2017, increasing from €684million to €795m.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s CSO figures are very strong, confirming that revenue from overseas visitors to Ireland grew by over 16% in the first three months of 2018, an additional €110m for the Irish economy compared with Q1 in 2017.
"Total overseas visitors grew by 6.4%. Holiday visitors grew by +15% and revenue from holidaymakers grew by +24%.
"It is heartening to see growth in revenue from British visitors; however, it is too early to say if this represents a turnaround in the long-term trend."
He said the outlook for the summer is "very positive" with more flights from Britain, Mainland Europe, North America and elsewhere around the world.
He said: "We’re already seeing the impact of increased Ryanair services from Germany.
"We particularly 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 have both kicked off this month.
"Our message is that there has never been a better time to visit the island of Ireland. Our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue for the island of Ireland to €6bn in 2018.”