Ireland's Tourism Revenue Boosted To Over €5 Billion In 2018

Recent data has confirmed that the revenue gained from overseas visitors to Ireland grew to over €5 billion last year, a 5.6% increase on 2017.

The data, as published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), also shows that revenue from the key target market of holidaymakers rose by 12.6% over the same period. The figures were published in the Tourism and Travel Q4 release, based on detailed surveys of overseas visitors and information on expenditure, purpose of visit, and bednights.

Visitors from Mainland Europe and North America were the main drivers of this growth in tourism revenue, while long-haul markets also delivered increased revenue. In terms of the expenditure associated with overseas visits, figures for 2018, compared to 2017, show that: 

• Overall, revenue was up by 5.6% to €5.149bn.

• North America increased by 13.9% to €1.735bn.

• Mainland Europe increased by 4.5% to €1.846bn.

• Great Britain decreased by 2.6% to €0.981bn.

• Other (long-haul) markets increased by 1.7%  to €0.587bn.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Ross T.D. said: "Data released by the CSO today confirms what we already knew - that 2018 was a very encouraging year for tourism. The revenue generated by visitors from North America and Mainland Europe, particularly Germany, ensured we saw strong growth of 5.6% compared to 2017.

"The data shows that the market diversification strategy implemented by Tourism Ireland has paid dividends for Ireland, with more visitors from markets proven to stay longer and spend more. Today, I will travel to the UAE to promote Ireland and Irish interests over the St Patrick's Day period. While there, I will work with Tourism Ireland to increase the awareness of Ireland as a holiday destination in the UAE. This is one of the emerging markets from which we hope to see further growth in the coming years. In this context, I have allocated additional funding to the agency to implement its Emerging Market Strategy this year.

"Of course the St. Patrick's Day period is a great opportunity to raise the awareness of Ireland abroad. I recently attended the launch of Tourism Ireland's 2019 Global Greening initiative which has grown to become a significant worldwide reminder of both St. Patrick's Day and also of Ireland and its appeal as a visitor destination. The Global Greening Initiative will no doubt help to boost Tourism Ireland's new 'Fill Your Heart with Ireland' marketing campaign and continue to raise Ireland's profile in targeted overseas markets."

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D. added: "The continued growth of overseas revenue through 2018 was hugely positive, even more so given the strong performance of previous years. We want to continue to grow the industry, but in a way that is sustainable.

"I remain conscious that Brexit is a continuing worry for many in the industry. I will travel to Scotland this week and I will be emphasising that Britain continues to be a vital market for Irish tourism and it will remain so. Nevertheless, it is vital that tourism businesses utilise the supports offered by Fáilte Ireland to help prepare for the post-Brexit environment. Part of this involves being ready to accommodate visitors from other markets. Overall though, the revenue growth in 2018 is really good news and we are well equipped to grow this even further into the future."


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