Tourists visiting Ireland staying longer and spending more

Spending by tourists visiting Ireland has increased by more than a third in the first half of the year compared to 2014.

Tourists visiting Ireland staying longer and spending more

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) confirm that the recent boom in tourist numbers visiting Ireland is continuing apace, with 3.9 million overseas visitors to Ireland in the first six months of 2015 — an increase of 12% on 2014.

The total spend by all visitors to Ireland in the six months of 2015 grew by 16% to €2.35bn, while spending by holidaymakers was up 34.5%.

The total overseas nights increased by 10% to 26.5m nights, while holiday nights were up by 21%.There were 3.5 million staying visitors (at least one overnight) — an increase of 12% on 2013, while same-day visits (379,000) grew by 8%.

Staying visitors (at least one overnight) by market show that British visitors were up by 10%; mainland European visitors were up by 13%; American visitors up by 17% and visitors from other long-haul areas were up by 9%.

Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn said the figures confirmed that tourism was continuing to thrive after a number of difficult years.

“As expected, all our key markets are delivering extra visitors and revenue as benign currency exchange rates help boost the sector’s performance. This is very much to be welcomed but we must guard against complacency. We need tourism growth to be ‘ever-green’ and not cyclical,” he said.

CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons said it was important that the sector maintained this strong performance for the remainder of the year.

“This was an excellent first half and reflects the sentiment we are hearing from our tourism industry partners overseas and here at home. We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. We are rolling out a really extensive autumn campaign — aimed at boosting late-season travel to Ireland from around the globe and keeping this momentum going. The period September to December usually yields as much as 30% of our annual overseas tourism business,” he said.

Tourism minister Paschal Donohoe said the figures showed that tourism was continuing to generate significant economic activity.

“The statistics show that overseas earnings continue to increase in tandem with visitor numbers which have been on an upward curve for over four years. These revenue figures confirm yet again that tourism is continuing to generate significant economic activity,” he said.

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