Over 4.2% growth in overseas visitors for January-June 2017
Commenting on figures published by the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland for January to June, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “I am pleased to see growth of +4.2% for the period January-June, coming on the back of a record performance in 2016 and years of solid growth in overseas tourism. It is encouraging that this was the best ever month of June for Irish tourism, with almost 1 million arrivals (+8% on June 2016).
“Particularly welcome in today’s CSO figures is the continued strong performance from North America, with an increase of +21.6%. Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America for 2017, as a market which offers a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure. A number of factors are working in our favour, including more airline seats than ever before, from more gateways across the US and Canada. Visitor numbers from Australia and Developing Markets for the first half of 2017 are also really strong, up +20.6%. And arrivals from Mainland Europe grew by almost +6% – with important markets like Germany, France and Spain continuing to perform well.
“As anticipated, the currency challenge for Irish tourism is very real and the drop in British visitor numbers (-6.4%) for the January to June period reflects that. The decline in the value of sterling has made holidays and short breaks here more expensive for British visitors; and economic uncertainty is undoubtedly making British travellers more cautious about their discretionary spending. This is impacting on travel to Ireland. Therefore, competitiveness and the value for money message are more important than ever in Britain right now. Tourism Ireland is placing a greater focus on our ‘culturally curious’ audience, who are less impacted by currency fluctuations. We are also undertaking an expanded partnership programme with airlines, ferry operators and tour operators, communicating a strong price-led message.”