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Loads more people from the UK are coming here on holiday

Almost one and a half million of our British cousins have made the trip across the Irish Sea already this year.

Image: Giuseppe Milo/Flickr

THE COUNTRY HAS seen an influx of tourists from the United Kingdom in the first half of this year, new figures show.

From January to June in 2014, an increase of 13.6% in visits from the UK was recorded, amounting to almost one and a half million. This came alongside an overall increase in tourist visits to Ireland in the six month period.

Speaking at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s mid year review, CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons said:

We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. We are undertaking an extensive programme of promotions around the world throughout 2014.

There were also an increase in the number of people visiting from North America with 10.6% more people visiting the country from the United States than in the same period in the previous year.

A 6% increase in tourists from mainland Europe was also recorded. This saw a spike of 18% on visits from Germany and a 22% increase in the number of visitors from Spain.

Overall, the first half of 2014 has seen a growth of 10.3%, with 324,400 more visitors coming to Ireland than in the first half of 2013. The overall number of visitors to Ireland in the first half of the year was 3,469,100.

The success of Irish tourism this year has coincided with the introduction of a number of new air routes as well as a boost in global advertising. Tourism Ireland estimated that their global marketing campaign would reach 200 million people this year.

One technique the organisation uses is inviting travel and lifestyle journalists to visit the country. Tourism Ireland estimate that the ‘equivalent advertising value’ of doing this comes to around €260 million.

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Following the release of the figures, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe said:

This is excellent news for everybody involved in Irish tourism and reflects the hard work carried out by Government and all those involved in the tourism industry and in promoting Ireland overseas.

Michael McCarthy, Labour TD for Cork South-West, expressed happiness at what he viewed to be a success for the government:

“When this government took office it pledged to make tourism a key driver of economic activity and to support the competitiveness of the sector. A number of targeted measures have reduced costs for tourists and for tourism businesses, including a cut in VAT on certain tourism services and the Visa Waiver Programme.”

Read: SME book club: What the tourism industry can learn about sustaining itself

Read: Union boss: All-Ireland day strikes will go ahead, despite what Paschal Donohoe says

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