The amount of tourists visiting Ireland in the first three months of the year has taken a sharp upturn, compared to the same period last year.
According to the latest figures released by the CSO, more than 1.53 million trips were made to the country in the first quarter, a rise of 14 per cent on 2014.
It is almost in-line with the same period in 2008, when 1.54 million visits were made.
Visitors from Britain made up nearly half of the total number, with 725,800 coming from there, a rise of 14.2 per cent. Visits from mainland Europe were up by 17.6 per cent while there was an increase of 6.9 per cent of visitors from the United States and Canada.
Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe expressed his satisfaction with the results, saying the figures were a positive sign for continued growth in the tourism sector.
"The visitor numbers released today confirm that 2015 has started very well for the tourism sector and bodes well for tourism’s important contribution to the economy and jobs," said the minister.
The number of overseas trips made by Irish residents between January and March was also up, rising 13.2 per cent to 1.3 million, the highest since 2010.