The number of tourists coming to Ireland has risen, with Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Michael Ring, attributing the increase to the Gathering.
Trips to Ireland were up by 2.6% in total – with mainland Europe (5.7%) and the Nordic countries (30%) showing significant gains. Elsewhere US tourist numbers increased by almost 10%.
“These latest figures show the positive start to the year of the Gathering Ireland 2013 in January is being sustained,” said Ring. “I am particularly pleased with the strong numbers from North America, Australia and New Zealand. These are two key markets for the Gathering which clearly is already playing its part for tourism. These figures indicate that the most important measure, tourism revenue, has every prospect of continuing to recover well in 2013. There are also signs that this could be a record year for business from North America.”
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However, despite the huge growth in these regions, interest from the UK continues to dry up, with overall visitor numbers falling by 2.4%, which dragged the total figure down considerably.
“Regarding Great Britain, the pace of economic recovery and weak consumer confidence continue to impact on outbound travel, with British visitor numbers down for the three-month period,” said Tourism Ireland’s Niall Gibbons.