Commenting on new figures published by the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland for 2019, Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said, "[These] figures from the CSO confirm a mixed picture for 2019, with an increase of 1% in total overseas visitors to Ireland during 2019 - an additional 80,000 overseas visitors when compared with 2018. However, revenue from overseas visitors to Ireland in 2019 declined by 1%. Tourists from Britain grew marginally (+1%), from mainland Europe by almost 3% and from long-haul markets by 5%. However, North America saw a decline of 3% in 2019."
Focussing On 2020
Gibbons added, "Our focus now is very much on 2020. The outbreak and spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is having a significant impact on travel and presents an unprecedented and extremely serious situation for Irish tourism. 2020 was already going to be a challenging year for tourism, with issues like Brexit and the delayed delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft; COVID-19 is an extremely serious development which is affecting all of our key source markets.
"We are in daily contact with our tourism industry partners and we know that they are reporting significant cancellations and very few new bookings. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are reviewing our promotional activity on a market by market basis and on a daily basis. Tourism Ireland will be ready to roll out an extensive kick-start programme, when the time is right."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.