New figures from the CSO have revealed that the total number of overseas visitors to Ireland grew by 7.1% to 8.2 million during the first three quarters of 2018.
As highlighted by Fáilte Ireland, the CSO's data also indicated that total revenue from overseas visitors to Ireland, excluding fares, grew by 7.1% to €4.1 billion compared to the same period last year, with the North American market returning the strongest growth (+13.2%), followed by Mainland Europe (+7.5%), while British revenue declined by 1%.
"A Record Year For Tourism"
Responding to the figures, Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said, "We know that 2018 has been a record year for tourism and this is very much reflected in [these] figures. Growth of this level does not happen by accident. Central to Ireland’s tourism success story has been long-term planning, strong product development and the work of a dynamic industry, which has shown great agility in adapting to ever-changing consumer preferences as well as growth from new and emerging markets. This forward-looking approach will be critical in 2019 and beyond, particularly with Brexit on the horizon and the economic uncertainty around the UK market. In order for Ireland to continue on this upward trajectory, and for tourism to sustain the major economic and social contributions the sector has made across the country, the industry will need to plan ahead and diversify into other markets to offset the potential impact of losing visitors from our nearest overseas market."
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Kelly continued, "Fáilte Ireland has been working closely with the wider tourism industry to ensure that this remains their focus, and continues to provide a comprehensive range of supports that will support them to effectively target tourists from new markets and create a full tourism offering that meets their needs. As we look to 2019, we will continue to work with government, public sector bodies, private businesses and local communities to target new markets and build strong tourism product on the ground."
© 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.