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Tourists use their iPad to video the landscape as the Atlantic Ocean reaches land near Clogher Head on the Dingle Peninsula. Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Summer Holiday

North American visitors drive summer tourism increase

There were over two million overseas trips to Ireland between May and July, a 7.6 per cent rise on the same period last year.

THERE HAS BEEN a significant increase in tourists coming to Ireland this summer according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The figures show that in the period of May to July there were over two million overseas trips to Ireland, a 7.6 per cent rise on the same period last year.

A breakdown of the origin of the trips to Ireland has shown a marked increase in the number of visitors from North America, up 20.5 per cent on last year. Trips by residents of Great Britain increased by 3.3 per cent in the last three months compared to last year while there was a 5.1 per cent increase in trips from the rest of Europe.

In total so far this year there has been 3.9 million trips to Ireland, a 6 per cent annual increase.

Irish travel abroad

Irish residents are also travelling abroad more this summer, with over four million individual trips taken in the three month period, a 5.4 per cent increase on the same period twelve months earlier.

Tourism Ireland’s CEO Niall Gibbons described the CSO figures as ‘very strong’, saying that the summer boost from North America is a record increase. “Tourism Ireland believes that we are on course to achieve our best year ever from the United States,” he said.  ”Even surpassing the previous best year of 2007, this year, we will welcome over one million American visitors, spending about $1 billion.”

Tourism Ireland also says that it hopes to continue the strong showing so far this year and notes that the period of  September to December traditionally yields as much as 30 per cent of overseas tourism business.

Read: Ireland has been voted the number four ‘dream destination’ for US tourists >

Read: Kilkenny voted 9th friendliest city in the world >

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