Record number of tourists flocking back to Ireland
Holidaymakers are rediscovering their passion for Ireland with visitor numbers at their highest since the start of the global recession in 2008.
The number of tourists visiting Ireland from overseas rose by 10.3%, compared with 2013.
Figures released by the Central Statistics Office show that nearly 3.5 million people visited Ireland from overseas from January to June.
The country that provided the most visitors was Great Britain with 1,473,200 people making the short trip across the Irish Sea. That is an increase of 13.6% during the same period last year.
A further 1,218,100 tourists came from Mainland Europe – a 6% increase.
There were over 574,500 visits from North America, which was 10.6% higher than last year and 203,300 visits from the rest of the world – in increase of 13.6%.
Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe added that the figures showed “Irish tourism is having, yet again, another excellent year.”
“2013 was the year of the Gathering and the challenge was to grow visitor numbers even further.”
Fáilte Ireland CEO, Shaun Quinn, said: “The increase in numbers from the UK is extremely impressive and the performance of our biggest overseas market is exceeding all expectations. All our other key markets are also delivering extra visitors; tourism businesses around the country are upbeat and we seem set for our best tourism season since the downturn began.”
Mr Donohoe is hoping even more people visit next year and is set to release a Tourism Policy Statement later in the year.
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