CLEVER OVERSEAS MARKETING, more plane trips and good value are all tempting tourists to Ireland – and this year, more than seven million of them will make the trip here.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar gave the above reasons for Ireland’s popularity with overseas visitors.
Fourth year of growth
“2014 looks set to be the fourth year of consecutive growth in overseas visitor numbers according to these figure,” he said of new CSO information.
“Since the Government came to office, the number of international visitors coming to Ireland has increased by more than a million per annum and is almost certain to exceed 7 million this year. Clever overseas marketing, more air access, good value, a great tourism offering and Government support are all making a real difference.”
The CSO tourism and travel statistics show that the number of trips to Ireland by holidaymakers rose by 7.5% in the first quarter of 2014, when compared with the same period in 2013.
But while spending by overseas visitors remained more or less flat when compared to 2013, Varadkar said this may reflect the fact that Easter fell in the second quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2013.
Comparing Quarter 1 2014 to Quarter 1 2013 shows what countries tourists are visiting from:
- Total number of visits from Great Britain grew by 11.4%
- Total number of visits from North America grew by 5.9%
- Total number of visits from Mainland Europe grew by 0.9%
- Total number of visits from other long-haul markets grew by 17.4%.
Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring said that events such as the recent Giro D’Italia and the Croke Park American Football Classic later this year will help to further promote Ireland.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said that he is particularly pleased to see the number of holidaymakers from the Great Britain market showing growth.
Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn said that the key challenge to tourism growth right now is complacency.
Gibbons of Tourism Ireland added that their industry partners are rolling out a busy promotional programme around the world to keep the momentum going.