Highest Number Of Tourists Recorded Since 2009
Published on Jun 30 2013 4:17 PM in General Industry
The number of tourists coming to Ireland grew by 8.1% from March to May this year, according to the CSO. There were over 1.7 million visitors to Ireland from overseas during the quarter, which, according to the CSO's latest quarterly overseas travel report, signals the best year for Irish tourism figures since 2009.
Minister for Transport & Tourism Leo Varadkar asserted that the figures pointed to the positive impact of the Gathering. "As the year progresses, each set of statistics shows that the Gathering is making a difference. Numbers from North America are as good as we've ever seen, while France is leading the charge from Europe," he said.
Visitor numbers from the US showed the most substantial increase, with an impressive rise of 12.6% on the same period last year, while visitor numbers from Europe increased during the three months too, rising by 9.6% to 676,000, with France and Benelux countries showing a particular jump in figures for the period.
Trips from Britain, Ireland's biggest source of tourists, steadied somewhat, with a rise of 5.6% to 726,300.
Commenting on the figures, Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons admitted that the number of British visits "continued to be challenging" but asserted that the Gathering has played a significant role in "helping boost visitor numbers in the first five months of the year".