Visitor expenditure up 9.4% for first nine months

Monday 12 December 2016

Data published by the CSO today confirms strong revenue figures from overseas visitors this year. The detailed figures from the CSO show that spending in Ireland by overseas visitors (excluding fares) for the first nine months of the year rose by 9.4% compared with the corresponding period of 2015. The data also shows that the number of trips in the key target market of holidaymakers rose by 8.0%. The figures are published in the CSO’s Tourism and Travel statistics.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Ross T.D. said: “Overseas tourism figures are set for another record year with a reported 8.277 million visits to Ireland in the first ten months of 2016.  This is excellent news. Today’s CSO release shows the economic significance of overseas tourism, with visitors to Ireland spending €3.647 in the first nine months of 2016. I welcome the growth from all of our main market regions, in particular the very strong performance from North America. My Department’s policies in tourism and aviation are closely integrated to ensure that the opportunities for continued growth are fully realised for both sectors, as increased demand for Ireland as a tourism destination encourages more air connectivity and increased capacity on existing routes. Sports tourism is also no longer a niche market but an important part of our tourism and sports initiatives. The growth trend is projected to continue, with 10%-14% higher air capacity forecast from North America alone in 2017.”

The figures confirm significant growth in revenue across all our main market areas. In terms of the spend associated with overseas visits, all of our main markets grew in the first nine months of 2016 compared to 2015:-

  • Great Britain increased by 11.4%
  • North America increased by 6.4%
  • Mainland Europe increased by 9.7%
  • “Other” long-haul markets increased by 21.3%

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O Donovan T.D.  also welcomed today's CSO figures. "I welcome the figures announced by the CSO today. An increase of almost 800,000 overseas visits in the first nine months of 2016 resulted in additional revenue of 9.4%, contributing directly to job creation that is regionally dispersed and benefits both urban and rural areas. There are now an estimated 220,000 people now employed in the Tourism and Hospitality sector around Ireland."

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland stated: “Today’s CSO figures confirm that overseas visitors to Ireland grew by +10% during January-September, or almost 600,000 extra visitors. And, more importantly for the Irish economy, revenue from overseas visitors to Ireland grew by +9% during this period, an additional €304 million compared with the first nine months of 2015. Within the total number of overseas visitors to Ireland, holiday visitors grew by +9% in the first nine months of 2016 – that’s 287,000 additional holiday visitors. I am pleased to see holidaymaker growth from our main market areas of Great Britain (+18%), Mainland Europe (+6%) and North America (+7%). This was a strong performance and reflects the sentiment we’ve been hearing from our tourism industry partners, both overseas and here at home. We’ve just launched our marketing plans for 2017, which will see us build on this year’s growth to deliver €5.7 billion (+4.5%) in overseas tourism revenue to the economies north and south, by welcoming 10.6 million visitors.”

Shaun Quinn, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, welcomed today’s figures but advised: “These figures continue to reaffirm that 2016 is shaping up to be bumper year for tourism. As always , we would caution the tourism industry against complacency - unexpected events can cause rapid change for our tourism fortunes which means future growth can never be guaranteed. That is why the tourism sector must remain competitive, continue to offer value and look to markets such as Mainland Europe to ensure that this growth in visitors and revenue can continue.”

Press Office, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport 01 604 1090 / 01 604 1093



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