Commenting on new figures released by the CSO for the first quarter of 2018, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said, “Today’s CSO figures are very strong, confirming that revenue from overseas visitors to Ireland grew by over 16% in the first three months of 2018, an additional €110 million for the Irish economy compared with Q1 in 2017. Total overseas visitors grew by 6.4%. Holiday visitors grew by 15%; and revenue from holidaymakers grew by 24%. It is heartening to see growth in revenue from British visitors; however, it is too early to say if this represents a turnaround in the long-term trend.
“Looking to the upcoming summer season, the air and sea access picture is very positive – with increases in the number of airline seats from Britain, Mainland Europe, North America and long-haul markets. We’re already seeing the impact of increased Ryanair services from Germany. We particularly look forward to seeing the impact of new long-haul flights on Irish tourism this summer – including the new Aer Lingus service from Seattle to Dublin, which began last month, as well as the Hainan Airlines flight from Beijing and the Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong, which have both kicked off this month.
“We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. We have a really comprehensive promotional programme under way around the world, working in close co-operation with industry partners across the island of Ireland, as well as with a wide range of international tour operators and with major air and sea carriers. Our message is that there has never been a better time to visit the island of Ireland. Our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue for the island of Ireland to €6 billion in 2018.”
© 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.