The CSO has released new figures detailing visitor numbers to the Republic of Ireland for the period covering January to July 2017.
The data reveals that total overseas trips to Ireland were up 3% on the same period last year, with the number of British visitors being down by 6%, while figures for mainland European rose 4%, the number of North American visitors increased by 17%, and figures for other long haul areas grew by 18%.
Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly commented, "While we welcome the growth in US visitors, we need to be conscious that, historically, US visitor numbers have been more volatile and can go down more quickly. Therefore, we need to keep driving growth in the UK and Europe as well as other markets.
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“As we plan for 2018, it is imperative that we keep a tight focus on competitiveness. The government has played its part in creating the right conditions for a competitive sector, particularly in terms of the highly effective VAT rate, but the industry must also step up to the plate and ensure that an Irish visit remains good value. If we were to lose our reputation as a good value destination, it may take us years to recover it.”