Tourism Ireland has welcomed the +3% growth in overseas visitors to Ireland between Dec 2016 and Feb 2017, confirmed by the CSO today.
Commenting on the figures, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism, said: “I am pleased to see growth of +3% for the three-month period December 2016 to February 2017; it’s a positive start to 2017. Particularly welcome is the growth of over +38% in visitor numbers from North America, the 20% increase in visitors from Australia and Developing Markets and the continuing growth from Mainland Europe of +1%, following a record year in 2016.
Visitor numbers from Britain have declines by almost -6%. This reflects feedback from our industry partners who have experienced a softening in the British market. We’re also seeing the impact of a difficult underlying trend in travel from Britain – this includes a drop in peak air access the fall in the value of sterling which makes holidays here more expensive and increased caution among British travellers around discretionary spending. All of this is impacting travel to Ireland. We will continue to monitor development around Brexit closely, to better understand and plan for its implications. Competitiveness and value for money will be more important than ever, given the decline in the exchange rate.”
For 2017, our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue by +4,5% to €5.7 billion, for the island of Ireland. We will create ‘stand out’ for Ireland around the world throughout 2017, highlighting ironic experiences like the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Titanic Belfast and the Causeway Coastal Route. We will also promote Dublin and Belfast, in particular for shoulder and off-peak travel. Screen tourism will remain a priority, as we continue to capitalise on our connections with Star Wars and Game of Thrones.
Read our full statement here