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Revellers enjoy the St Patrick's Day parade Dublin city centre this year.
Revellers enjoy the St Patrick's Day parade Dublin city centre this year.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

2013 St Patrick's Festival 'worth €121 million to Irish economy'

That’s over twice as much as the 2010 festival.
May 6th 2013, 5:05 PM 7,613 24

SURGING NUMBERS of tourists coming from overseas to be in Dublin for the St Patrick’s Day festivities has meant the 2013 festival had an economic impact twice the size of its 2010 equivalent.

New research published by Fáilte Ireland has found that 140,000 adults came from overseas to be in the capital for this year’s St Patrick’s Festival – a 37 per cent increase in the numbers who attended in 2010 when the last comparable study was carried out.

The research, based on studied by polling firm Behaviour & Attitudes, found that the event had a €121 million impact for the local economy - more than double the €60 million generated by the 2010 festival.

Over a quarter of the visitors for 2013 came from the United States, while almost a third came from the ‘traditional’ markets of Britain, France and Germany.

The study found, however, that the largest growth area came in the number of tourists visiting from ‘additional’ countries – with a 33 per cent increase in the number of visitors coming from smaller or less traditional territories.

While the average visitor for the 2010 festival spent €416 in the capital, those who came this year spent an average of €696 each – a figure attributed to the higher numbers of visitors travelling from higher-spending markets.

“This year’s extended St Patrick’s Day Festival was one of the key events for the Gathering, and the 40 per cent increase in overseas visitors is particularly encouraging,” said tourism minister Leo Varadkar, welcoming the figures.

“Given that the New Year’s Eve Festival also showed a marked increase in overseas visitors, the signs are that the Gathering is going well.”

Fáilte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn added that the Gathering appeared to be accounting for seven out of every ten additional overseas visitors, suggesting that the initiative was paying off in terms of attracting visitors to Ireland.

Read: 7.4pc more overseas tourists in first three months of The Gathering

More: Ireland getting better in offering value for money, say tourists

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