You are here: HomeTourism News
  • Overseas Visitor Numbers to Ireland Continue to Grow Print Page
  • In this section

    Word Media 230X100

    Access the latest press releases and download photographs from our image library.

    Visit our media centre

    Overseas Visitor Numbers to Ireland Continue to Grow

    Overseas Visitor Numbers to Ireland Continue to Grow

    CSO Data Shows 7.1% Increase in Overseas Travel to Ireland

    Overseas visits to Ireland were up by 7.1% for first nine months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, with just over 8.2m overseas visitors from January to September.

    The latest CSO figures on Overseas Travel show:
    • Overseas visitors to Ireland increased by 2.3% for the month of September and by 7.1% for the year to September. This resulted in over half a million (542,000) extra visitors to Ireland over the same nine-month period last year.
    • British visitors increased by 1.1% to 2.84 million visitors over the corresponding period last year.
    • North American visitors grew by 12.9% to 1.87 million.
    • Mainland Europe increased by 10.0% to 2.98 million visitors, with German (+20.9%) and Italian visitors (+11.8%) performing the strongest.
    • Visitors from all Other Areas (517,000) grew by 5.3%.
    Responding to today’s CSO figures, Fáilte Ireland’s CEO Paul Kelly said:

    ‘Today’s figures reflect what has been a record year for tourism, with visitor numbers at their highest yet and impressive growth in some of our core markets. The key now is being able to sustain and continue these levels of growth. At Fáilte Ireland, a core focus of our work in this respect has been on spreading visitors across the country, and stimulating growth in those regions which have the potential to cater for more visitors, particularly during off-season months. Central to this will be both public and private sector organisations throughout the country investing in the growth of tourism capacity in accommodation, attractions and transport. For our own part, Fáilte Ireland is investing significantly in attractions, activities and festivals to ensure a good regional spread of tourism activity and a broader tourism calendar in order to cater for increased visitor numbers.

    ‘While we are confident about the growth prospects that lie ahead for the coming year, it is important to strike a note of caution as this growth cannot be taken for granted, and will not be easily won, particularly with Brexit on the horizon. Through our own programme of activity, and as part of the Government’s Getting Ireland Brexit Ready workshops, we have been helping the industry to prepare for Brexit as best they can, by effectively diversifying into other markets. There are also many opportunities over the coming year, including new access routes, and Fáilte Ireland will support the industry to keep the current growth momentum going by making sure Ireland remains a high quality destination, which provides good value for our visitors.’

    Overseas Visitors January to September 2018
    Staying and same day visits (000)
      2017 2018 % change
    Britain 2,810 2,842 1.1
    North America 1,655 1,868 12.9
    Mainland Europe 2,705 2,976 10.0
    France 440 450 2.4
    Germany 534 645 20.9
    Italy 288 322 11.8
    Spain 356 354 -0.5
    All Other Europe 1,088 1,205 10.8
    Other Areas 491 517 5.3
    Australia/New Zealand 166 178 7.7
    Other 326 339 4.0
    Total Overseas 7,661 8,204 7.1

    Jump to top


    Keep up to date on tourism news

    Stay informed of all industry news with our fortnightly newsletter.

    Sign up for our e-newsletter