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Numbers visiting Ireland down 15% on last year

The volume of tourists coming to Ireland fell by a million in 2010, according to estimates by the travel industry.

Tourism chiefs will hope that Dublin Airport sees a little more arrivals activity in 2011.
Tourism chiefs will hope that Dublin Airport sees a little more arrivals activity in 2011.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive

THE NUMBER of tourists visiting Ireland fell by about one million this year, according to new estimates released by the travel industry.

The Irish Travel Industry Confederation‘s end-of-year review estimates that 5.5 million people travelled to Ireland from overseas in 2010, a number that is down about a million – or about 15% – on the same number from 2009.

That estimate would mean that the numbers visiting the country has fallen for the third consecutive year – with the annual revenue brought by tourists to Ireland falling by €1.7bn in that period.

The biggest drop came in the key market of Britain, RTÉ reports.

The numbers visiting Ireland in 2011 is likely to increase, however, with the particular fall in 2010 visitors being partially attributable to the effects of the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland, as well as the two spells of particularly cold weather and fears about Ireland’s economic stability.

ITIC chief executive Eamon McKeown told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that some tourists had been turned off the idea of coming to Ireland, fearing that a hotel could close and cause them to forfeit their deposits, or that ATM machines may cease to function during their trip.

Also encouragingly, the Irish Times reports that readers of Frommer’s travel guides have named Ireland their most attractive tourist destination of 2011, described as a “very tourist-friendly nation” and usurping Paris at the top spot.

A Fáilte Ireland survey this year found that 57% of tourists thought Ireland offered value for money, an increase of 10% over the same number in 2009.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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