Record year for Tourism Ireland with 11.2m visitors in 2018

Record year for Tourism Ireland with 11.2m visitors in 2018
Tourism Minister Shane Ross; Tourism Ireland chairman Joan O’Shaughnessy; and Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons at the mid-year review of overseas tourism. Picture: Chris Bellew

2018 has been the best year ever for Irish tourism, according to Tourism Ireland's end-of-year figures.

The organisation estimates that by 31st December, 11.2 million people will have visited the island of Ireland - that is an increase of 6% on 2017.

It is thought the spend by these visitors during 2018 will be €6.1bn - up 10% on last year.

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons says a new campaign is being launched to target the 2019 market.

"Our new campaign 'Fill your heart with Ireland' is launching now in all our main markets across the globe over the next week or so

"It is backed by additional funding that the government has given us in the Budget.

"New advertising going across all channels - digital, social - and it will give Ireland a very strong resonance across our main markets particularly during the Christmas period in long-haul markets when people are thinking about where they are going to take their holiday in 2019."

Mr Gibbons said that all of Ireland's key markets performed very well this year.

"North America and mainland Europe producing record growth, long-haul markets like China and Australia very strong too and despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit, we are seeing Britain hold its share through the course of 2018."

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