There were 1,785,300 trips to Ireland between January and March of this year, an increase of 16.6% compared to the same period in 2015.
Trips by North Americans increased by 24.5% to 238,100, while there was a rise of 17.3% in visitors from Great Britain and 14.1% from other European countries.
The number of overseas trips by Irish residents increased by 13.1% to 1,476,900.
Commenting on today’s figures from the CSO, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures represent an excellent start to the year, as we roll out our promotional programme around the world. It was the best ever March and the best ever first quarter for Irish tourism.
“I am really pleased to see overseas visitor numbers up +16.6% – that’s a quarter of a million additional visitors when compared with the first quarter of 2015.
“These figures very much reflect the sentiment expressed by our tourism industry partners overseas, including tour operators and carriers, as well as tourism businesses here at home.
“Our focus now is on surpassing last year’s success, to ensure that 2016 is another record-breaking year for overseas tourism."