Commenting on new figures published by the CSO for overseas arrivals to Ireland for January-April, 2019, Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said, "[These] figures from the CSO indicate that overseas visitor numbers increased by 5.1% in the first four months of 2019, around 144,500 more than in January-April, 2018. However, anecdotal reports suggest that this growth is not being felt evenly across the industry. It is also important to bear in mind that the first four months represent around 27% of total annual visitors.
"[These] figures indicate a solid performance from our source markets. Visitors from North America grew by 8.3% in the first four months of 2019, an extra 42,300 US and Canadian visitors. We’ve also seen good results from Mainland Europe, up 6.1%, with strong performances in particular from France and Spain. Visitor numbers from the rest of the world increased by 7.3%."
"Our Most Challenging Market"
Gibbons continued, "Britain remains our most challenging market for the upcoming peak season. While we welcome the fact that visitor numbers are up 2.4% for January-April, we know that currency fluctuations and the Brexit extension will continue to cause uncertainty for the summer season and may affect travel demand. Next week, we will launch a new strategy for the British market. We will also continue to monitor the market closely, working in conjunction with our British-based Brexit Taskforce. Our aim is to continue to grow overseas visitor numbers and revenue this year despite the uncertainty around Brexit and some slippage in planned air services from North America and Britain."
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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.