The most popular regions of Ireland for overseas tourists have been revealed

Entertainment at Dublin's Guinness Storehouse

The most visited counties in the Republic of Ireland have been revealed – along with how much money overseas tourists brought into the local economies.

The figures from Fáilte Ireland show that Irish tourism enjoyed a record breaking year in 2017, welcoming nine million visitors, bring almost €5 billion into the country.

It will come as little surprise that Dublin was the most visited part of the country. As the capital there are several must visit attractions as well as excellent events being put on throughout the year that have people flocking to the city.

Entertainment at Dublin's Guinness Storehouse
Counties along the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ also featured highly. Galway, which has been named as Ireland’s most romantic city thanks to its picturesque streets and charming atmosphere, was the second most visited.

Cork – Ireland’s Rebel County and birthplace to many unstoppable personalities from Michael Collins to Roy Keane – came third in the list. Cork is a former European capital of culture, with several tourist attractions and is the unofficial finishing point of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Co Kerry, which boasts some of the most stunning scenery in Ireland, including the Lakes of Killarney, was the fourth most visited county.

Co Clare – home of the Cliffs of Moher, which were shortlisted for ‘The New Seven Wonders of Nature’, as well as attractions such as Bunratty Castle, the Burren and O’Brien’s Tower – also made the top five.

Overseas visitors and spend by county (2017)

  1. Dublin: 5,936,000 (€1981m)
  2. Galway: 1,673,000 (€589m)
  3. Cork: 1,600,000 (€631m)
  4. Kerry: 1,277,000 (€337m)
  5. Clare: 749,000 (€158m)
  6. Limerick: 647,000 (€261m)
  7. Mayo: 324,000 (€78m)
  8. Kilkenny: 315,000 (€55m)
  9. Wicklow: 275,000 (€73m)
  10. Donegal: 255,000 (€82m)
  11. Waterford: 255,000 (€69m)
  12. Wexford: 232,000 (€61m)
  13. Kildare: 211,000 (€91m)
  14. Tipperary (N&S): 192,000 (€88m)
  15. Sligo: 173,000 (€45m)
  16. Louth: 172,000 (€55m)
  17. Meath: 162,000 (€44m)
  18. Cavan: 107,000 (€48m)
  19. Westmeath: 103,000 (€46m)
  20. Carlow: 79,000 (€45m)
  21. Monaghan: 60,000 (€25m)
  22. Roscommon: 54,000 (€27m)
  23. Offaly: 52,000 (€16m)
  24. Laois: 43,000 (€14m)
  25. Leitrim: 41,000 (€18m)
  26. Longford: 24,000 (€10m)

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling