The Minister Tourism, Paschal Donohoe has welcomed the latest CSO data on overseas travel, which showed an increase of 9.4% in overseas visits to Ireland for the first eight months of 2014 compared to the same period of 2013.
Commenting on the figures from Boston, Minister Donohoe stated, “The figures cover the first eight months of 2014 including the peak tourism months of June, July and August. Thankfully the figures confirm an excellent summer period for Irish tourism with all of our main overseas markets showing good growth levels. This is due, in no small part, to the policies being pursued by Government."
The data shows:
Get a FREE Digital Subscription!Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
At over 5.2 million visits, overall trips to Ireland were up 9.4% in the first eight months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. For the three-month period from June to August 2014, overseas trips to Ireland increased by 9.7%. Visits from Mainland Europe grew by 7.4% for January to August 2014, to 1,837,900 visits and by 11.2% for the June to August period. North America registered an increase of 13.4% for January – August 2014 (915,500 visits) and of 18% in the June – August 2014 period; Visits from Great Britain were up by 8.8% for January – August 2014 (2,120,500 visits) and by 3.5% for the three months from June to August 2014 compared to the corresponding period of 2013. Visits from the rest of the world (mostly long-haul and developing markets) totalled 326,800 for the first eight months of 2014 (representing an increase of 14.7%) and increased by 13.4% for the three months from June to August alone. “Irish tourism is having a very good year but we must never become complacent," said Donohoe. "Figures for visits from North America to date in 2014 are excellent (up 13.4% on 2013 which was itself a record year) and I am currently in Boston promoting Ireland as a tourist destination alongside Tourism Ireland at the iFest festival of contemporary Irish culture and the Jump into Ireland sales and networking event. US visitors to Ireland tend to stay longer and spend more than the average visitor so encouraging them to visit us all year round is essential.”
Minister of State Michael Ring highlighted the fact that there are still some significant tourism events scheduled to take place before the end of 2014. “This is more good news for the Irish tourism industry. While we are now in the shoulder season, we still have an exciting schedule of annual festivals this autumn including this weekend’s Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival, the Wexford Festival Opera and the Cork Jazz Festival all of which will give the local economies a significant boost”.