Inbound tourist spend set for further strong increase

Ireland is expected to benefit from another strong rise in spending levels from inbound tourists this year.

A new survey of European cities, by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), has ranked Dublin seventh out of 17 locations, in terms of tourist spend income in 2016.

According to the survey, overseas visitors spent a combined €9.2bn in Dublin last year, roughly 10% up on 2015. London, Istanbul and Amsterdam topped the list; with tourist spending topping €18.9bn, €17.5bn and €11.8bn respectively.

A spokesperson for Fáilte Ireland suggested that with the double digit percentage growth in North American visitors this year, tourist spend — across the country — should continue to show impressive growth this year.

Tourism Ireland said likewise, for Dublin, particularly on the back of some new campaigns put in place to attract new visitors to the capital.

Tourism Ireland is due to unveil its visitor targets for 2018 when it launches its marketing budget for the next 12 months in early December.

It, essentially, kicked-off its promotional drive in London yesterday by appearing — alongside 70 Irish tourism firms — at the World Travel Market (WTM) event, the world’s largest travel fair. There, Tourism Ireland chief Niall Gibbons said that despite the fear of lower visitor numbers from the UK, due to Brexit, Britain remains a priority.

“As our nearest neighbour and our largest market for overseas tourism, Britain will remain a priority for us,” he said.

Meanwhile, the WTTC study also found that big European cities are largely resilient to terrorist attacks, with Paris, Brussels and Istanbul all expected to see a surge in tourism over the next decade despite initial falls in visitor numbers following a spate of attacks in the past two years.

London is also expected to weather the storms of terrorist threats and Brexit, despite both putting pressure on its tourism sector this year.

“Our data suggests that London is well-placed to be resilient against these challenges. We expect international tourism spend to increase by 7% every year over the next ten years,” WTTC chief executive Gloria Guevara said.

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