17.1% Rise In Overseas Visitors To Ireland - CSO

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have revealed an increase of 17.1% in overseas visitors to Ireland between December 2015 and February 2016.

Welcoming the results, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe said: "Today's data shows that the significant growth in overseas visit numbers witnessed in recent years is continuing into 2016. While 2015 was a record year for Irish tourism, we are targeting even further growth in the years ahead.

"Earlier this year, Minister Ring and I published our Tourism Action Plan which sets out the priority actions in the period to 2018. These actions will seek to move us toward our 2025 targets of €5 billion in overseas tourism revenue (excluding air fares or ferry costs) and 250,000 jobs in the tourism sector, underpinned by ten million overseas visits per year.

"The visitor numbers released today show that our ambitious policy is building from a strong base. All of our main overseas markets are showing good growth levels and I know that sentiment within the industry is very positive for the remainder of the year ahead."

Comparing the three-month period Dec '15 – Feb '16 with the period Dec '14 – Feb'15:

• Overall trips to Ireland were up by 17.1 %

• North America was up by 13%

• Visits from Mainland Europe were up by 14.4%

• Visits from the rest of the world increased by 8.8%

• Great Britain registered an increase of 21.2% in visits

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD added: "Further positive data in relation to our visit numbers is very encouraging for the tourism sector. I am sure that the visitors we have welcomed so far this year have enjoyed everything that we have to offer, including, most recently, the St. Patrick's Festival which started the tourism season in spectacular style. Our tourism industry has an exciting range of festivals and events lined up for visitors to experience for the remainder of the year."


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