New statistics from the CSO have revealed that the number of overseas visitors who travelled to Ireland during the first nine months of 2018 was up by 7.1% compared to the same period last year, with just over 8.2 million overseas visitors arriving on Irish shores between January and September of this year.
As outlined by Fáilte Ireland, the latest CSO figures on overseas travel show:
- Overseas visitors to Ireland increased by 2.3% for the month of September and by 7.1% for the year to September. This resulted in over half a million (542,000) extra visitors to Ireland over the same nine-month period last year.
- British visitors increased by 1.1% to 2.84 million visitors over the corresponding period last year.
- North American visitors grew by 12.9% to 1.87 million.
- Mainland Europe increased by 10.0% to 2.98 million visitors, with German (+20.9%) and Italian visitors (+11.8%) performing the strongest.
- Visitors from all Other Areas (517,000) grew by 5.3%.
"A Record Year For Tourism"
Responding to the new CSO statistics, Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said, "[These] figures reflect what has been a record year for tourism, with visitor numbers at their highest yet and impressive growth in some of our core markets. The key now is being able to sustain and continue these levels of growth. At Fáilte Ireland, a core focus of our work in this respect has been on spreading visitors across the country, and stimulating growth in those regions which have the potential to cater for more visitors, particularly during off-season months. Central to this will be both public and private sector organisations throughout the country investing in the growth of tourism capacity in accommodation, attractions and transport. For our own part, Fáilte Ireland is investing significantly in attractions, activities and festivals to ensure a good regional spread of tourism activity and a broader tourism calendar in order to cater for increased visitor numbers.
"While we are confident about the growth prospects that lie ahead for the coming year, it is important to strike a note of caution as this growth cannot be taken for granted, and will not be easily won, particularly with Brexit on the horizon. Through our own programme of activity, and as part of the Government’s Getting Ireland Brexit Ready workshops, we have been helping the industry to prepare for Brexit as best they can, by effectively diversifying into other markets. There are also many opportunities over the coming year, including new access routes, and Fáilte Ireland will support the industry to keep the current growth momentum going by making sure Ireland remains a high quality destination, which provides good value for our visitors."
© 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.