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    CSO figures show softened growth in overseas visitor numbers

    CSO figures show softened growth in overseas visitor numbers

    CSO data published today shows that the number of overseas visits to Ireland from January to May increased by 3.7% compared to the same period in 2018.

    Responding to today’s CSO figures, Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Marketing, Niall Tracey said:

    “Despite numbers being up, the rate of growth for tourism is softening. We must continue to be cautious as there are many challenges on the horizon for the tourism sector. The potential impact of Brexit on our economy is of course, a serious concern for the industry. We know that cost pressures are also a key challenge, with increases in VAT, insurance premiums and labour costs the most frequently cited issues.

    “Our key message for all tourism businesses is to ‘prepare and diversify’. Fáilte Ireland has a robust programme of supports to help businesses to assess risks, respond to changes, improve their channel mix and diversify into other markets and we continue to work with the industry to develop a ‘world-class’ tourism offering so that we can deliver long-term growth despite the challenges ahead.”

    Comparing January to May 2019 with the same period in 2018, today’s figures show:

    • An increase of 3.7% in total overseas visitors to Ireland resulted in an extra 141,000 visitors coming to Ireland over the same five-month period last year.
    • Growth from Britain has remained positive – up by 0.8% to 1.48 million visitors.
    • North American was the strongest growing region with visitors up by 9.1% to 813,000.
    • Mainland Europe increased by 3.2% to 1.46 million visitors with France returning strong growth of 9.3% - Germany remained unchanged while Italy declined by 4.3%.
    • Visitors from all Other Areas grew by 7.3%, being driven by growth other than from Australia/New Zealand which was down by 2.9%.
    Staying and same day visits (000)
      2018 2019 % change
    Britain 1,471 1,483 0.8
    North America 745 813 9.1
    Mainland Europe 1,417 1,462 3.2
    France 219 240 9.3
    Germany 290 290 0.2
    Italy 142 136 -4.3
    Spain 163 166 2.0
    All Other Europe 602 629 4.5
    Other Areas 214 230 7.3
    Australia/New Zealand 68 66 -2.9
    Other 146 164 12.1
    Total Overseas 3,846 3,987 3.7
           Source: CSO Overseas Travel, 26 June 2019

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