Overseas Visits To Ireland Up Almost 14%

Overseas visits to Ireland increased by almost 14% in the first five months of 2016, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have revealed.

Welcoming the figures, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Shane Ross, said: "Today's figures reflect an excellent performance for overseas visit numbers with an increase of 13.7% in the first five months of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.

"These figures once again confirm that our tourism sector is continuing to perform well and we are on track for another excellent year.

"Of course the result of the referendum in the United Kingdom shows how events outside our control can potentially impact on our strong performance. Nevertheless, the Great Britain market will remain of significant importance to Irish tourism in the short, medium and long term.

"Tourism Ireland has an extensive marketing programme in place for the second half of 2016 and that is rolling out right now in 23 markets overseas including Great Britain. It is important to get the message out there that there are no changes to how people can travel between Ireland and the United Kingdom. We will continue to monitor developments and respond as required."

Comparing the period to the end of May with the same period in 2015, the CSO figures revealed:

• Overall trips to Ireland were up by 13.7% to just over 3.46 million visits;

• North America was up by 18.3%;

• Visits from Mainland Europe were up by 11.5%;

• Visits from the rest of the world increased by 0.7%;

• Great Britain registered an increase of 15.7% with 1.54 million visits.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O Donovan T.D. added: "As we enter into the peak summer season, I am encouraged by the strong start we have seen to 2016. Todays release shows that we are performing strongly across all of our target markets and growth is not confined to any particular geographic area. We have a wonderful schedule of festivals and events throughout Ireland in the coming weeks. This is a fantastic opportunity for Irish tourism and our tourism agencies will continue fighting for business, promoting the wonderful tourism product that we have in Ireland."


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