Today’s figures from the CSO (Central Statistics Office) indicate that this was the best ever January to May period for overseas visitors to Ireland, with more than 3 million arrivals recorded for the five months. Overseas visitor numbers have increased by +12% over the same five-month period in 2014 – an additional 329,800 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 May period for overseas visitors to Ireland, with more than three million arrivals recorded for the five months – representing an increase of +12% in overseas visitor numbers over the first five months of 2014 and with growth recorded from all of our market areas around the world. Our aim is to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism and we have certainly seen an exceptional performance from North America for the five-month period of January to May – up +14% on the same period in 2014. Ireland now welcomes 10% of all American visitors to Europe – particularly noteworthy given the intense competition from other destinations.”
Niall Gibbons continued: “Mainland Europe has also turned in a stellar performance (+14%) for January to May – with important markets like Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Benelux all recording fantastic growth. It’s also been another record five months for our longer-haul markets, up +13%; and I also welcome the strong increase in British visitors (+10%), our largest market for overseas tourism. Today’s 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.”
Overseas visitor numbers are up +12% between January and May 2015 – 329,800 additional visitors.
Great Britain: GB, our largest market, recorded growth of +10% for January to May – 122,100 extra British visitors over the same five months in 2014.
North America: visitor numbers from the United States and Canada are up +14%, about 54,400 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: the five-month period of January to May has also seen an excellent performance from Mainland Europe (up +14% or 133,300 extra arrivals) – with markets like Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Benelux all recording fantastic growth.
Australia and Developing Markets (ADM): it’s also been another record performance for arrivals from Australia and developing markets – up +13% or 20,000 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.”