Ireland sees more overseas visitors – but fewer Brits

Last month was the best month of June ever recorded for Irish tourism, with almost one million arrivals, up 8% year-on-year.

However, the number of British visitors is continuing to fall, as sterling makes holidays more expensive for British visitors.

Figures for the January-June period show overseas visitor numbers rose 4.2% year-on-year, although numbers from Great Britain fell 6.4% to 949,200.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Particularly welcome…is the continued strong performance from North America, with an increase of 21.6%.

“Tourism Ireland has prioritised North America for 2017, as a market which offers a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure.

“A number of factors are working in our favour, including more airline seats than ever before, from more gateways across the US and Canada.”
He also said that visitor numbers from Australia and Developing Markets rose 20.6%, and arrivals from Mainland Europe grew by almost 6% – with important markets in Germany, France and Spain continuing to perform well.

Gibbons added: “As anticipated, the currency challenge for Irish tourism is very real and the drop in British visitor numbers (-6.4%) for the January to June period reflects that.

“The decline in the value of sterling has made holidays and short breaks here more expensive for British visitors; and economic uncertainty is undoubtedly making British travellers more cautious about their discretionary spending.”

Pictured: Colliemore Habour, Dublin, by Rob Durston/Tourism Ireland.