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    Fáilte Ireland responds to growth in overseas visitor numbers and revenue in 2018

    Fáilte Ireland responds to growth in overseas visitor numbers and revenue in 2018

    CSO data released today shows that total overseas visitors to Ireland grew by 6.9% to 10.6 million in 2018. 

    North America (+13.4%) was the strongest growing region in 2018, followed by Mainland Europe (+9.5%).

    Other key points from today’s data show that:
    • Total revenue excluding fares grew by 5.6% to €5.1 billion with North America (+13.9%) again returning the strongest growth. Revenue from Mainland Europe increased by 4.5%; Other Areas grew by 1.7% while revenue from Britian registered a decline of 2.6%.
    • Overall visitor nights were up by 3.3% to 70.9 million nights; North America grew by 9.1% with Mainland Europe nights up by 7.1%, while British nights declined by 6.9%
    • Holiday visits grew by 11.1%, ahead of the growth in visitor numbers, with holiday nights and revenue up by 9.0% and 12.6% respectively.
    • Nights in Hotels increased by 4.6% and Guesthouse/B&B nights grew by 11.4%
    Responding to today’s CSO data, Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said:

    “The full set of figures for 2018 confirms that last year was a ‘best-ever’ for tourism. There are now 260,000 people estimated to be employed in the sector, an increase of 20,000 since 2017. As the country’s largest indigenous industry, Irish tourism has made a great impact in recent years, but as a sector we cannot rest on our laurels if we are to sustain this success. Today’s figures show a significant decline in the British market – a concerning trend in our biggest source market and one of the biggest challenges the industry will face in the coming year. Brexit remains the dark cloud on the horizon and its impact is likely to be felt far beyond the loss of visitors from our nearest market. We are also at risk of losing tourists from other core markets as the UK is our main competitor and the weakening value of Sterling could make it more attractive to long-haul tourists, as well as those from Northern Europe.
    “That’s why it is more important now than ever that the industry not only diversifies into other markets, but also provides strong value for money as well as a compelling and competitive offer to tourists. At Fáilte Ireland, we have invested heavily in supporting businesses to broaden into other markets. We are working with tourism businesses of all sizes in every corner of the country to ensure they have a robust Brexit plan in place in order to build on the success of 2018 and drive further growth in tourism to increase economic contribution, employment and Exchequer revenue.”

    Overseas Tourism 2018
    % change 18 vs 17
      Visitors Nights Revenue (exc fares)
    Britain 0.8 -6.9 -2.6
    North America 13.4 9.1 13.9
    Mainland Europe 9.5 7.1 4.5
    Other areas 6.7 0.0 1.7
    Total 6.9 3.3 5.6
    Holiday 11.1 9.0 12.6
    Business -3.1 -2.6 -2.9
    VFR 3.5 2.1 -1.6
    Other 9.8 -5.8 -8.1
    Hotels   4.6  
    GH/B&Bs   11.4  
    Source: CSO Tourism and Travel survey, 13 March 2019

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