Ireland welcomes one million visitors in first two months of 2016
Ireland welcomed more than one million visitors in the first two months of 2016 – its best ever start to a year.
The lure of Ireland is clearly stronger than it has ever been as visitors flock from all around the world to relax, explore and adventure here.
The figures were released by Tourism Ireland and show that the first two months of 2016 saw a 17% rise on the number of visitors from overseas from 2015.
CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons said: “Today’s figures represent a very positive start to 2016 – confirming that, for the first time ever, we welcomed more than 1 million visitors in the first two months of the year. In the period December 2015 to February 2016, almost a quarter of a million additional visitors (+17%) came to Ireland, when compared with the same three-month period last year. Growth was recorded from all of our markets around the world – including Britain (+21%), North America (+13%), Mainland Europe (over +14%) and from Australia and developing markets (almost +9%).
“Our focus now is on surpassing last year’s success, to ensure that 2016 is another record-breaking year for overseas tourism. We remain conscious of recent tragic events in Brussels and elsewhere and the potential impact on travel; we continue to monitor the situation.
“Earlier this month, our promotions received a tremendous boost, with our Global Greening initiative for St Patrick’s Day – which was even bigger and better than ever before. Vast positive coverage was generated around the world in print, broadcast, social and online media – as our Global Greening captured the imaginations of people everywhere at a key time for holiday planning and decisions. St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us and we took every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile.”
Tourism Ireland are hopeful that 2016 will see the country’s best ever year. In 2015, more than 9.3 million overseas visitors travelled to Ireland generating revenue of about €4.7 billion.