Today’s figures from the CSO (Central Statistics Office) indicate that this was the best ever January to June period for overseas visitors to Ireland, with almost 3.9 million arrivals recorded. Overseas visitor numbers have increased by +11.7% over the first half in 2014 – an additional 407,100 visitors. This is good news indeed, with the increase in visitor numbers from overseas helping to boost employment and economic recovery around the country.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures indicate that this was the best ever January to June period for overseas visitors to Ireland, with almost 3.9 million arrivals recorded, an increase of +11.7% – or an additional 407,100 overseas visitors – when compared with January to June 2014. Our aim is to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism. I am delighted to see that growth has been recorded from all of our markets around the world, with record numbers from North America (up almost +15%), Mainland Europe (+13%) and long-haul markets (+12%).”
Overseas visitor numbers are up +11.7% between January and June 2015 – 407,100 additional visitors.
Great Britain: More than 1.6 million arrivals were recorded from GB, our largest market, representing growth of +9.4%, almost 140,000 extra British visitors compared with the first half in 2014.
North America: visitor numbers from the United States and Canada are up almost +15%, about 85,000 extra American and Canadian visitors. Ireland now welcomes 10% of all American visitors to Europe – particularly noteworthy given the intense competition from other destinations.
Mainland Europe: it’s been a record first half performance from Mainland Europe (up +13% or almost 160,000 extra arrivals) – with markets like Italy (+32%), Spain (+15%), France (+13%), Germany (+12%), Benelux (+11%) and the Nordic countries (+5%) all recording fantastic growth.
Australia and Developing Markets (ADM): it’s also been another record performance for arrivals from Australia and developing markets – up +12% or 24,700 additional visitors.
Niall Gibbons continued: “Promoting the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route continues to be a major focus for Tourism Ireland around the world in 2015; we are also showcasing the new Dublin Discovery Trails and paving the way for Ireland’s Ancient East and the Gobbins Cliff Path. 2015 marks 150 years since the birth of Nobel laureate, WB Yeats, and Tourism Ireland is promoting Yeats2015 – particularly to our ‘culturally curious’ audience. This year has also been designated ID2015 (the year of Irish design), a showcase of the best of Irish design.”