Ireland registers 7.3% growth in overseas visitors

Ireland has registered more than 7.3 per cent growth during the January-April period, around 191,100 additional overseas arrivals when compared with the first four months of 2017.

“North America continues to perform extremely well – with arrivals up +13.6 per cent, an extra 61,100 US and Canadian visitors. We’ve also seen excellent results from Mainland Europe, up over +12 per cent on January-April last year, with particularly strong performances from Germany (+24.3 per cent) and Italy (+21.9 per cent). Tourism Ireland has prioritised Mainland Europe and North America, as markets which offer a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure,” said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.

“While we welcome the fact that arrivals from Britain are up very slightly (+1.1 per cent), this doesn’t represent a turnaround in the long-term trend. The impact of Brexit on outbound travel from Britain, therefore, remains a concern. The fall in the value of sterling has made holidays and short breaks here more expensive for British visitors and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top markets. Competitiveness and value for money remain more important than ever in Britain this year,” he added.

The CEO also expressed his hope in increase in the number of airline seats from Britain, Mainland Europe, North American and long-haul markets, which will help more tourist arrivals. “We’re already seeing the impact of increased Ryanair services from Germany. We particularly look forward to seeing the impact of new long-haul flights on Irish tourism this summer – including the new Aer Lingus service from Seattle to Dublin, which began earlier this month, as well as the Hainan Airlines flight from Beijing and the Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong, both due to begin in the coming weeks. In terms of ferry services, there will be an increase in the number of sailings and capacity between Mainland Europe and Ireland this year,” said Niall Gibbons.

Tourism Ireland aims to grow overseas tourism revenue in 2018 by +5 per cent, to €6 billion, for the island of Ireland.