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Dublin: 16 °C Monday 25 May, 2020

Ireland welcomes one million tourists in July - the highest figure on record

More than 5.4 million oversea tourists visited Ireland between January and July of this year.

There was a 13% increase in overseas tourists holidaying in Ireland in the first six months of 2016.
There was a 13% increase in overseas tourists holidaying in Ireland in the first six months of 2016.
Image: Shutterstock/1000 Words

FIGURES RELEASED BY the Central Statistics Office show that more than 1 million oversea tourists holidayed in Ireland this July – making it the highest number of tourists ever during that month.

It was also the best January to July period for overseas visitors, with more than 5.4 million arrivals, representing an increase of almost 13%, representing 612,400 additional overseas visitors when compared with the first seven months of 2015.

When the growth figures from January to July are compared to the same period last year, they show that tourism from:

  • North America increased by 15.5%
  • British visitors grew by 14%
  • Mainland Europe increased by 11.6%.

Commenting on the figures Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said that 2016 is set to become “another record-breaking year for Irish tourism”:

This was a strong performance and reflects the sentiment we are hearing from our travel partners overseas, including tour operators and carriers, as well as tourism businesses here at home. We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues.

External threats to tourism

shutterstock_354482372 Source: Shutterstock/LMspencer

Figures released by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), earlier this month showed that the tourism industry created an additional 3,400 jobs in the three months from April to June.

But the ITIC also warned that the sector faces external threats to the tourism industry, particularly in the aftermath of the UK’s referendum on EU membership.

In a statement to, the Irish Hotels Federation said that the recent 18% fall in the value of sterling was “a worrying development”:

The recovery of the sector cannot be taken for granted as witnessed by the Brexit result, which has created significant economic uncertainty for our industry. The UK accounts for 40% of all overseas visitors in Ireland and a sustained weakness in sterling is likely to affect consumer spending and the numbers of British people travelling overseas.

In 2015, the tourism industry was worth €7.3 billion to the Irish economy and over 8 million international tourists visited Ireland.

The ITIC has called on the government for financial investment in the tourism sector in its pre-Budget 2017 submission, particularly after the uncertainty of the Brexit result.

Read: ‘People are fussier now’: Willie Daly on how matchmaking has changed over 50 years

Read: Ryanair is cutting 1,600 flights from Dublin in 2017

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