Commenting on newly-released CSO figures for tourism in 2018, Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said, "[These new] CSO figures are very positive, confirming that revenue from overseas visitors to Ireland grew by almost 6% during 2018, an additional €275 million for the Irish economy compared with 2017. Total overseas visitor numbers increased by 6%; and within the total number of overseas visitors to Ireland, holiday visitors grew by 11% during 2018 – 525,000 additional holiday visitors.
"Particularly welcome was the continued strong performance from North America, with visitor numbers up 13% and an increase of almost 4% in spending by US and Canadian visitors – an outstanding performance. Tourism Ireland’s market diversification strategy has prioritised North America as a market which offers strong return on investment. We have also seen strong growth in visitor numbers from Mainland Europe (+10%) and from our long-haul markets, including Australia (+7%). While visitor numbers from Britain increased by 1%, spend by British visitors declined by 2.6%, reflecting currency fluctuations and the continued uncertainty around Brexit, which remains a real concern."
'Fill Your Heart With Ireland' Campaign
Gibbons added, "Tourism Ireland’s new 'Fill Your Heart with Ireland' campaign is rolling out around the world to build on the success of 2018. Our promotions will receive a tremendous boost this weekend with our Global Greening initiative for St. Patrick’s Day, which is even bigger and better than ever before with 425 sites in 53 different countries signed up to take part. St. Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us and we will be taking every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile."
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© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.