Visitor Numbers Continue To Grow

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, has welcomed a continued growth in overseas visitor numbers for the first six months of 2014.

Released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the figures reveal that overall trips to Ireland increased by 10.3% in the first six months of 2014, when compared to the same period in 2013.

Between January and June 2014, visits from Mainland Europe grew by 6% to more than 1,218,100 visits, while North America registered an increase of 10.6% for the same period – over 574,500 visits. An increase of 13.6% was found among visits from Great Britain, as visits from the rest of the world were also up by 13.6%.

Welcoming the statistics, Minister Donohoe said: "We now have official figures for overseas visits to Ireland for the first half of 2014 which show that Irish tourism is having, yet again, another excellent year.

"Last year was the year of the Gathering and the challenge was to grow visitor numbers even further in 2014. Today's figures show that overseas visitor numbers are up an encouraging 10.3% compared to the first six months of 2013. Trips to Ireland increased by 12.3% in Q2 from April to June 2014.

"This is excellent news for everybody involved in Irish tourism and reflects the hard work carried out by Government and all those involved in the tourism industry and in promoting Ireland overseas."

Shaun Quinn, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, added: "The increase in numbers from the UK is extremely impressive and the performance of our biggest overseas market is exceeding all expectations. All our other key markets are also delivering extra visitors, tourism businesses around the country are upbeat and we seem set for our best tourism season since the downturn began.

"However, the key challenge to tourism growth over the next few years or so will be complacency and we need to work hard to maintain that balance of good value and quality which the sector has achieved in recent years."


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