General Industry

Number Of Overseas Visitors To Ireland Rose 7% In H1 2018

By Dave Simpson
Number Of Overseas Visitors To Ireland Rose 7% In H1 2018

The CSO has released new tourism and travel statistics for the second quarter of 2018, revealing that spending in Ireland by overseas visitors (excluding carrier fares) totalled €2,270 million during the first six months of the year, up 8.5% on the corresponding period in 2017.

According to the new data, total overseas visitors to Ireland grew by 7% to 4.8 million in the first six months of 2018, with North America and Mainland Europe growing by 11% and 10%, respectively. Total revenue excluding fares grew by 9% to €2.3 million, with North America (+9%) and Mainland Europe (+12%) once again contributing strongly. Holiday visits grew by 11%, ahead of the growth in visitor numbers, with holiday nights and revenue up by 8% and 11%, respectively. Meanwhile, overall visitor nights increased by 6% with North American and Mainland Europe growing by 5% and 13%, respectively, while British nights declined by 4%, and nights in hotels were up 2% on the same six months of last year while guesthouse/B&B nights grew by 21%.

A Reflection Of Ireland's Attractiveness

Commenting on the new, Fáilte Ireland chief executive Paul Kelly said, “Revenue figures for the first half of the year are very encouraging. Not only is the revenue from overseas tourism up by 8.5%, but when you look into the detail, the revenue from holidaymakers in particular is up by 11%, which is a great reflection of Ireland’s continuing attractiveness as a destination. This performance is no accident. Through a mixture of a robust set of policies from government – including a competitive VAT rate and zero airport tax - strong international marketing by Tourism Ireland, as well as Fáilte Ireland’s ongoing work to support the industry and build strong regional experience brands, we are seeing continued growth that not only generates €1.7 billion in Exchequer revenue, but sustains communities across the country. Indeed, on the trends in [the CSO's new] data, there is a strong indication that overseas tourism’s contribution to the tax take will increase by €100 million this year.

“The key focus now is to ensure that we can continue to build on this growth and overcome any challenges the industry may face in the near future, particularly with Brexit on the horizon. This strong growth simply will not continue if we don’t plan ahead and diversify into other markets to offset the potential impact of losing visitors from our nearest overseas market. At Fáilte Ireland, we will continue to work with the government, public sector bodies, private businesses and local communities to target new markets and continue to build strong tourism product on the ground across the country.”

© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.