Ireland's tourism industry enjoyed a robust 2016 summer period, with 84% of hoteliers and 76% of guesthouse operators reporting an increase in business compared to summer 2015.
The figures were reported as part of Fáilte Ireland's Autumn Tourism Barometer and consisted of 600 tourism businesses surveyed on their summer operations.
The Barometer also showed an increased profitability for 79% of hoteliers, linked to the fact that 64% of hotels employed more staff for the year.
Discussing the results, Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn said: "As expected, tourism businesses across the country had another successful summer and with many recording their best season ever. Yet, we must keep our eye on the factors underpinning our growth – compelling visitor experiences, increased carrier capacity and a favourable exchange rate with the US Dollar - and avoid strategies which in time could undermine our current reputation for good value."
Despite the success, there are still concerns within the sector, with 39% of enterprises citing operating costs as a recurring issue. The potential future impact of Brexit remains an issue among 44% of businesses, despite them seeing a 47% increase in British customers for the year.
Quinn added: "The early indications are that the 2017 season is likely to be one of opportunity in terms of further growth from North America and Mainland Europe but also challenge in terms of holding market share in Britain, our largest single source market. We will be intensifying our efforts to support regional and seasonal business expansion in specific growth segments of our core markets, segments where our Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East brands are now performing well."