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Gap of Dunloe, County Kerry
Gap of Dunloe, County Kerry
Image: Shutterstock/Stefval

Irish tourism has best ever year, with 9 million visits

There were 8,919,700 million visits to Ireland up to the end of November, an 11% increase compared to the same period in 2015.
Dec 21st 2016, 2:24 PM 8,660 24

IRISH TOURISM HAS had a record-breaking year, with almost nine million visits taking place in the first 11 months of 2016.

There were 8,919,700 million visits to Ireland up to the end of November, an 11% increase compared to the same period in 2015.

Visits from mainland Europe grew by 8.8% for January to November, up to 3,096,300 visits. North America registered an increase of 18.3% for the same period, up to 1,699,100 visits.

Visits from Great Britain were up by 11.1%, to 3,620,500. Visits from the rest of the world (mostly long-haul and developing markets) totalled 503,700 for the first 11 months of 2016, representing an increase of 1.9%.

Commenting on today’s CSO figures, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures indicate that this was the best ever January to November period for overseas visitors to Ireland, with almost nine million arrivals, representing an increase of+11% – 884,400 additional overseas visitors when compared with the first 11 months of 2015. It is clear that 2016 will be another record-breaking year for Irish tourism.

Tourism Ireland has a number of late-season campaigns under way right now, to kick-start our promotional effort for 2017. The aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue in 2017 by 4.5%, to €5.7 billion for the island of Ireland.

‘Best ever year’

Transport Minister Shane Ross welcomed the news, saying: “The figures published today confirm that 2016 has been the best ever year for Irish tourism.

“The record number of visits to Ireland has had a positive influence on the associated revenue. Spending by overseas visitors to Ireland in the first nine months of 2016 was up 10% compared to the same period in 2015.”

Tourism is the Republic of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, responsible for in excess of 4% of Gross National Product (GNP) – the total value of all goods and services produced nationally in a year – and employing approximately 220,000 people.

In 2015, Ireland welcomed approximately 9.5 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, bringing in revenue of around €4.9 billion.

Read: Controversial plan for hundreds of pylons in rural Ireland has been given the go-ahead

Read: Europe orders Aer Lingus and Ryanair to repay millions in illegal state aid

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