Latest CSO Figures Paint A 'Very Mixed Picture', Tourism Ireland
Yesterday’s figures from the CSO indicate a very mixed picture, Tourism Ireland said, as total overseas visitor numbers increased by 2% in the first half of 2019.
However, numbers coming from Britain remained flat (0%), while Mainland Europe (up 2%), North America (up 6%) and long-haul markets (up 7%) all experienced gains.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, highlighted that revenue growth from overseas visitors in the first half of 2019 was flat against the same period in 2018.
“Revenue from British visitors dropped by 4%, and from Mainland European visitors also by 4%,” Gibbons said. “However, we’ve seen a growth of 9% in revenue from North American visitors. Also, revenue from all overseas holiday visitors grew by almost 5%.”
Gibbons suggested that the figures underline a continuing weak trend which reflects the current market conditions, as weaker demand is becoming a major concern for the remainder of 2019 and beyond.
“The uncertainty around Brexit is an ongoing challenge, giving rise to consumer concern in Britain and some Mainland European markets,” he explained.
“The fall in the value of sterling has made holidays here more expensive for British visitors – and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top source markets.”
Gibbons referred to Tourism Ireland’s €12 million autumn campaign, which is underway in markets across the world to highlight the reasons to visit Ireland for the rest of the year.
“It aims to take advantage of late booking trends around the world,” he explained, “as there is still plenty of business to play for.”
“Many people are opting for shorter holiday breaks and autumn is a really good opportunity, with many world-class festivals and events happening right around the island.”
“A key objective for us is to drive more business to our regions, right throughout the off-peak and shoulder season months.”
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.