Increasing air access to Ireland in 2014 should help build on the 8m overseas visitors to the island this year, Tourism Ireland has said.
CEO Niall Gibbons predicted the opening of many new routes, especially from North America, as well as new ferry routes to France and Spain, would facilitate further growth next year.
However, he said sustained growth was highly dependent on the global economy and the competitiveness of Ireland as a tourist destination.
He also acknowledged that tourism revenue grew at a slower pace than visitor numbers in 2013, which signalled the average length of stay was continuing to decline.
Tourism revenue rose 6% against a 7.2% rise in the number of foreign tourists. “The international trend of tourists having shorter stays is very hard to buck,” he said.
He claimed consumer feedback showed most overseas visitors believed Ireland represented good value for money with hotel prices seen as very reasonable, although the high price of alcohol is often criticised.
Outlining Tourism Ireland’s annual review, Mr Gibbons said the organisation had focused on social media for its main marketing activities with its website, Ireland.com, receiving 13m visits during 2013.
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