The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has issued overseas travel figures for the period covering December 2016 to February 2017, revealing that the total overseas trips to Ireland was up by three per cent to to 1,740,900 on the corresponding period twelve months previously.
CSO reported that visitors from Britain were down by 5.9 per cent, however, there was an increase of one per cent in mainland European visitors and that the number of North American visitors grew by 38.2 per cent. Other long-haul visitors were up by 20 per cent as well.
Speaking about the figures, Paul Kelly, the CEO of Fáilte Ireland commented: "Today’s figures, particularly the softening of British numbers, reminds us that we cannot be complacent. Today’s triggering of Article 50 reminds us, the tourism sector trades in a changeable environment. Therefore, it is crucial that we constantly work hard to attract new and additional business to our shores.
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"That is why today Fáilte Ireland is hosting Meitheal 2017, Ireland’s largest travel trade event which has almost 280 top overseas buyers and 360 Irish tourism businesses in attendance - to win business for the future. Fáilte Ireland is working with tourism businesses to ensure that they do everything necessary to weather any uncertainty around Brexit and are positioned to appeal to a diversified and appropriate mix of markets with a capacity for future growth."