2015 is off to a positive start, with today’s figures from the CSO (Central Statistics Office) indicating growth of +9% in overseas visitors to the Republic of Ireland between November 2014 and January 2015. That means we have welcomed an additional 123,200 visitors over the same three-month period last year. This is good news indeed, with the increase in overseas visitor numbers helping to boost employment and economic recovery around the country.
Overseas visitor numbers are up +9% between November 2014 and January 2015 – 123,200 additional visitors.
Great Britain: GB, our largest market, recorded growth of +10% for the three-month period – 60,600 extra British visitors.
North America: visitor numbers from the United States and Canada are also up +10% – 18,300 additional visitors.
Mainland Europe: visitor numbers from Mainland Europe grew by +10% – 43,800 extra arrivals, with markets like France (+22%), Italy (+32%) and Germany (+8%) turning in particularly strong performances.
Australia and Developing Markets (ADM): arrivals from Australia and our other long-haul markets were fairly flat when compared with the same three months last year, just 500 more visitors.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures represent a very positive start to 2015, as we roll out our promotional programme around the world. Our promotions will receive a tremendous boost next month, with our Global Greening initiative for St Patrick’s Day set to be even bigger and better than ever before. St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us and we will be taking every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile.
“Looking to the year ahead, ambitious targets have been set to ensure that tourism growth continues. Following last year’s success, we will be pulling out all the stops this year, to keep the momentum going and ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism when we aim to welcome 7.74 million visitors – surpassing the previous record year of 2007. In 2015, we will continue to place a major focus on promoting the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route. We will also showcase the new Dublin Discovery Trail and the Gobbins Cliff Path. This year marks 150 years since the birth of world-renowned Irish poet and Nobel laureate, WB Yeats; Tourism Ireland will promote Yeats 2015 – particularly to its ‘culturally curious’ audience. Tourism Ireland will also highlight the Irish Open at Royal County Down and ID2015, a showcase of the best of Irish design.”