Commenting on new figures published by the CSO for overseas arrivals for January to August 2018, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said, “[These new] figures from the CSO confirm that overseas visitor numbers increased by almost 8% during the January-August period – 520,500 additional overseas arrivals when compared with the first eight months of 2017. This was the best ever month of August for Irish tourism, with more than 1.2 million arrivals.
“Particularly welcome in [these] figures is the continued strong performance from North America, with an increase of 13.2%. A number of factors are working in our favour, including more airline seats than ever before, from more gateways across the US and Canada. We’ve also seen excellent results from Mainland Europe, up 10.5% on January-August last year, with particularly strong performances from Germany (+21%) and Italy (+13.4%). Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America and Mainland Europe, as markets which offer a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure.
The Brexit Factor
Gibbons continued, “While we welcome the fact that arrivals from Britain are up almost 2.5%, it’s too early to say if this represents a turnaround in the long-term trend. The impact of Brexit on outbound travel from Britain, therefore, remains a concern.
“We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. Our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue in 2018 to €6 billion, for the island of Ireland.”
© 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.