The Central Statistics Office has said that the number of overseas visitors to Ireland in the key tourism period of June to August has increased by nearly 10 per cent.
2.48 million people visited Ireland during the summer period, which is an increase of 9.7 per cent on the same period last year. There was an increase of 9.4 per cent to 5.2 million people for the first eight months of the year compared to the same period in 2013.
The greatest rise was in North American visitors who numbered 516,700 during the summer - a rise of 18 per cent. The total number of North American visitors for the first eight months was 915,500 which is a rise of 13.4 per cent.
Get a FREE Digital Subscription!Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
Visits from mainland Europe grew by 11.2 per cent for June to August and by 7.4 per cent for January to August to 1,837,900.
Although visits from Great Britian showed the least percentage increase, it remains our biggest tourism market with the majority of visitors to our shores hailing from Britain. British visitors increased by 3.5 per cent for June to August and by 8.8 per cent to 2,120,500 for the eight months from January to August.
Visits from the rest of the world totalled 326,800 for the first eight months of 2014, which is an increase of 14.7 per cent and increased by 13.4 per cent for the three months from June to August alone.
Minister for tourism Paschal Donohoe welcomed the figures saying "Thankfully the figures confirm an excellent summer period for Irish tourism with all of our main overseas markets showing good growth levels."
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said he was delighted with the figures and pointed out that the increase in visitor numbers is helping to boost employment around the country.