Spending By Overseas Visitors Increases In 2018 - CSO

Spending in Ireland by overseas visitors rose by 7.2% in the first nine months of 2018, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have revealed.

The CSO data also shows that revenue from the key target market of holidaymakers rose by 12.2% over the same period.

The figures are published in the CSO's Tourism and Travel Q3 release. The figures are based on detailed surveys of overseas visitors and the release also contains detailed information on expenditure, purpose of visit, and bednights. 

The figures confirm that Mainland Europe and North America were the main drivers of this growth in tourism revenue. Long-haul markets also delivered increased revenue whilst Britain was marginally down. In terms of the expenditure associated with overseas visits, figures for the first nine months of 2018, compared to 2017, show that:

• Overall, revenue was up by 7.2%

• North America increased by 13.2%

• Mainland Europe increased by 7.5%

• Great Britain decreased by 1%

• Other (long-haul) markets increased by 3.1%

Welcoming the increase the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross said: "Looking back on 2018, the figures released by the CSO today affirm what we already knew – that tourism has had another very good year. The revenue generated by visitors from North America and Mainland Europe, in particular, ensured we saw a significant increase of 7.2% compared to the same period in 2017.

"Our goal now is to ensure that we continue to grow in a sustainable way. Looking into 2019, in terms of our tourism offering, Fáilte Ireland will continue to focus on areas with very strong potential for future development and expansion, including attractions, activities, festivals and business tourism.

"In terms of international marketing, the increased allocation in Budget 2019 will allow the necessary investment by Tourism Ireland to roll out its new global campaign 'Fill Your Heart With Ireland'. In addition, new market strategies for growth will be implemented in a number of key overseas markets.

"Both agencies will be working towards building further on the strong performance of recent years, particularly in the regions and in off-peak periods, to maintain tourism's place as a vital indigenous economic sector."

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, added: "The importance of the increase in tourism revenue cannot be understated. The revenue generated by tourism reaches all parts of the country, bringing much needed jobs and income to areas with otherwise limited economic activity.

"My focus going forward will be to further build on the success that the regions have experienced through initiatives such as the 'Wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way' and 'The Call of the Wild'. Additional funding allocated in Budget 2019 will allow for further development of the Regional Cooperative Marketing Scheme, which promotes direct access to regional airports for overseas visitors to Ireland.

"I remain conscious of the uncertainty around the British market. Nevertheless, following Budget 2019, I am confident that the agencies will be well resourced to meet the challenges this will bring in the New Year."


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