Ireland now welcoming one in 10 American visitors to Europe

  • Overseas visitor numbers up 7.2pc
  • North America rises 30.8pc
  • Britain up 3.3pc

Latest CSO figures show strong growth in inbound tourism from the North American market, with slight rises in the British and Mainland Europe figures.

The figures cover the period between November 2016 and January 2017, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said the figures “represent a very positive start to 2017, as we roll out our promotional programme around the world. I am very pleased to see an increase in overseas visitor numbers of +7.2% between November 2016 and January 2017, about 126,400 additional visitors when compared with the same three-month period last year.

Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland

“I am delighted to report that growth was recorded from all of our markets around the world – with exceptional results from North America (+30.8pc on 2016). Ireland now welcomes 10pc of all American visitors to Europe – particularly noteworthy given the intense competition from other destinations. We have also seen continued growth from Britain (+3.3pc), Mainland Europe (+2.3pc) and our long-haul markets (+11.4pc). And, it is particularly encouraging that we’ve seen +8.3pc growth in overseas visitors in the month of January alone.”

Earlier this month, Gibbons revised Tourism Ireland’s estimates for growth in inbound Irish tourism in 2017 from -3pc to +1pc, which is regarded as very conservative compared with other tourism stake holders.

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He added of the CSO figures: Our focus now is on the year ahead. Our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue in 2017 by +4.5pc, to €5.7bn, for the island of Ireland. 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.”

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