A total of €4.2 billion in revenue was earned through visitor spending in 2015, an increase of €661 million compared to 2014.
The record-setting 8.6 million visitors accounted for a large increase in spending, jumping by 18.6 per cent excluding air fares.
Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe described the year as "exceptional" and expects it to get better in the upcoming years. "The good news is that we are aiming for even further growth in visitor numbers and associated revenue in 2016 and a strong marketing campaign is already under way."
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“Of course this being St Patrick’s week, Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening (pictured) initiative is taking place across the world at a time when many people are planning their holidays, giving Ireland an unparalleled platform to encourage people to pay us a visit’,” he added.
CSO figures released show that more Irish residents are making trips out of the country also. A total of 6.965 million overseas trips in 2015 compared to 6.514 million trips the previous.