More Positive News for Tourism

Overseas Visitors up +5.4% January to June

Today’s figures from the CSO for overseas tourism to the Republic of Ireland confirm some encouraging results for the first half of 2013.

  • North America: visitors from North America grew by +15.4% over this period, putting us on course to achieve our best year ever from the United States – surpassing the previous peak performance (2007). We hope to welcome over one million American visitors this year, spending about US$1 billion.

  • Mainland Europe continues to grow in relative importance, with visitor numbers up by +8% in the first half. Mainland Europe is now the number one source of holidaymakers for Ireland. Particularly encouraging are the strong performances from markets like France (+17%), Germany (+7%), the Nordic region (+13%) and Benelux (+11%).

  • Great Britain: visitor numbers from GB remain unchanged compared with the same six months last year. The GB market continues to be challenging, with a fragile economy impacting on outbound travel. Tourism Ireland is rolling out the “GB Path to Growth” plan this year, in conjunction with industry partners, with the aim of growing British holidaymakers by +20%
    i.e. an additional 200,000 holiday visitors per year by 2016. Consumer confidence is vital if we are to sustain tourism growth.

  • Australia and developing markets: ADM recorded growth of +5.7%, driven mainly by Australia/NZ (+16%); in fact, this was the best ever first half from Australia and developing markets.

Commenting on the CSO figures, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “As we are now in the high season, today’s figures from the CSO for the first six months of 2013 are very encouraging. This growth reflects the sentiment expressed by our industry partners, including tour operators and carriers, as well as some tourism businesses here at home. Major advances in air access and, of course, The Gathering Ireland 2013, have helped boost the figures. A number of high profile events have captured the attention of people everywhere – in particular last weekend’s Riverdance Gathering, with articles appearing in publications like The Guardian and ITN in GB, on CTV News in Canada and in Travel Weekly in Australia. And our specially-created social media video of the event has already been viewed almost 60,000 times on YouTube.”

“The outlook for 2014 is also positive – with announcements recently by Aer Lingus of a further major expansion on its transatlantic services to Ireland next year, with new, year-round flights from San Francisco and Toronto. Other recent good news for tourism prospects included the announcement of the University of Central Florida v Penn State season opener at Croke Park in August 2014.”

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