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David Goldman/AP/PA Images

Fewer visits to Ireland in early 2012

Meanwhile, Irish residents made 2.5 per cent fewer visits between January and March.

THE NUMBER OF TRIPS to Ireland by overseas residents fell by 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

The latest CSO figures for overseas travel show that visitors from Great Britain made 2.1 per cent more trips that quarter (up to 562,400) compared to Q1 2011.

However, North American residents made 6.5 per cent fewer trips here between January and March (down to 144,700), while trips by residents of European countries (other than Great Britain) were down 3.7% to 392,800.

Residents of ‘other areas’ of the world made 0.6% (65,200) fewer trips here.

Irish residents made 1,234,800 visits overseas during the period, down 2.5 per cent on the same period of 2011.

Meanwhile, the total number of trips in and out of the country in Q1 2012 decreased by 1.9 per cent to 2,399,900 compared to last year.

Responding to the CSO release, CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons described the figures as being “in line with expectations”.

“The global economic landscape of recent months has certainly presented a challenging environment for travel and tourism,” he said. “However, our tourism industry and travel trade partners are generally more positive about the months ahead – particularly for quarters two and three – with reports of enquiries and advance bookings being well up on this time last year.”

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