Figures show increase in number of trips to Ireland

The number of trips to Ireland between August and October this year increased by 2.9% to 2,934,400 compared to last year, official CSO figures show.

Trips by residents of Great Britain decreased by 5.8% to 1,045,900 while trips by residents of European Countries other than Great Britain increased by 4.5% to 1,022,900.

Trips by residents of North America to Ireland increased by 14.8% to 682,500, while trips to Ireland from Other Areas increased by 9.8% to 183,200.

The total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents during the period August - October 2017 increased by 7.6% to 2,244,100.

In the 10 months to the end of October 2017, the total number of trips to Ireland increased by 3.1% when compared with the same period in 2016. Irish residents' trips overseas during the same period increased by 7.8%.

Commenting on CSO figures, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures confirm that we welcomed 8,531,500 overseas visitors during the period January to October this year.

“This represents growth of +3.1% – or over a quarter of a million additional visitors – on the same ten-month period last year, coming on the back of a record performance in 2016 and years of solid growth in overseas tourism.

“We have seen exceptional results from North America this year – up +16.4% on January to October last year. I also welcome the growth in visitor numbers from Australia and developing markets (+14.7%) and from Mainland Europe (+4.4%).

“Increases in direct air access, plus our market diversification strategy, have been key factors.

“The decline in visitor numbers from Britain continues to be a concern, down -6.1% for the January to October period.

“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.

“Tourism Ireland will continue to place a greater focus on our ‘culturally curious’ audience, who are less impacted by currency fluctuations.

“However, competitiveness and the value for money message remain more important than ever in Britain right now.

“Tourism Ireland has a number of late-season campaigns under way right now, to kick-start our promotional effort for 2018. Next week, we will outline our plans for 2018, when we will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that the island of Ireland continues to increase its share of the global travel business.”

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