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    Fáilte Ireland welcomes continued growth in overseas visitor numbers

    Fáilte Ireland welcomes continued growth in overseas visitor numbers

    CSO Data Shows 6.8% Increase in Overseas Travel to Ireland

    Overseas visits to Ireland were up by 6.8% for first 11 months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, with just over 9.9m overseas visitors from January to November.

    The latest CSO figures on Overseas Travel show:

    • Overseas visitors to Ireland increased by 3.2% for the month of November and by 6.8% for the year to November. This resulted in 628,000 extra visitors to Ireland over January to November last year.
    • British visitors increased by 1.0% to 3.47 million visitors over the corresponding period last year.
    • North American was the strongest growing region this year with visitors from here up by 13.1% to 2.24 million.
    • Mainland Europe increased by 9.0% to 3.56 million visitors, with German (+19.4%) and Italian visitors (+11.2%) the top performers.
    • Visitors from all Other Areas (609,000) grew by 6.9%.

    Welcoming today’s CSO figures, Fáilte Ireland’s CEO Paul Kelly, said:
    “I’m pleased to see such robust growth in November, a period which is well outside of the tourism high season and traditionally considered to be one of the lowest performing months in terms of overseas visitors. It is this kind of growth that is central to the long-term success of the tourism sector. Small changes in the seasonal profile can make a big impact on the commercial viability of tourism businesses and the sustainability of employment in the sector. We know that many tourism businesses, particularly in rural Ireland, already find it very difficult to sustain their business through the winter months and are now facing further cost inflation pressures on VAT, insurance and wages. Investing in initiatives to extend the season is critical for them and those who they employ.

    “The strong growth the tourism industry has seen in recent years can’t be taken for granted, particularly as we prime ourselves for the uncertainty Brexit will bring next year. Our research shows that arrivals from Britain are dispersed across the full calendar year, making them a very important stream of business in the off season. As Fáilte Ireland prepares for the year ahead, a key focus will be supporting the industry to minimise this risk. We will continue to invest in more season extension initiatives to support the industry to stay open for longer and attract a more diverse visitor base.”

                                 Overseas Visitors January to November 2018
    Staying and same day visits (000)

      2017 2018 % change
    Britain 3,430 3,465 1.0
    North America 1,982 2,242 13.1
    Mainland Europe 3,268 3,562 9.0
    France 518 528 1.9
    Germany 645 770 19.4
    Italy 341 380 11.2
    Spain 418 416 -0.3
    All Other Europe 1,345 1,468 9.1
    Other Areas 570 609 6.9
    Australia/New Zealand 191 208 8.8
    Other 379 401 5.8
    Total Overseas 9,250 9,878 6.8
    Source: CSO Overseas Travel, 20 December 2018


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