The number of tourists visiting Ireland this summer increased by 142,000 over the same time last year to over two million, according to the latest figures from the CSO released this morning.
A total of 2,264,800 return trips were made between June and August - an increase of 6.7% over the same period last year.
Visitors from the UK represented the largest group of visitors here who made 879,500 visits during the peak summer months of June, July and August, an increase of 4.7%.
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But the key North American market showed impressed gains of close to 20% over the same period last year with visitors from Canada and the USA making 437,900 return trips.
Visitors from Eastern Europe, Switzerland, Turkey and other European countries were the third largest group who made 172,600 visits, followed by Germany at 169,100, France at 136,900, other areas - including Africa, Asia and the Middle East - at 86,000 followed by Benelux countries at 79,500, Italy at 77,400, Australia and New Zealand at 66,700 and Scandinavia at 63,400.
The figures, especially for North American visitors, reveal that The Gathering tourism initiative is paying off.
Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar said 2013 had been a “great year” for tourism in Ireland and pointed to improved value for money and the Gathering to explain the growth.