Published on : Friday, August 11, 2017
In the first half of 2017, Ireland saw a 4.2% increase in the number of overseas visitors. There was an increase of over 20% in visitor numbers from the North American market which Tourism Ireland Chief Executive Niall Gibbons described as “spectacular”. Visitor numbers from mainland Europe, particularly from Germany, Spain and France, grew by 6%. However, there has been a 6% decrease in British visitors.
Mr. Gibbons cited this decrease is due to currency rates which have made holidays more expensive for British tourists. Mr. Gibbons added, “Certainly the next 18 months are ones to watch … particularly in the off-peak season. We’ve a very active campaign in Great Britain at the moment working very closely with the tour operators there and a very active advertising campaign at the moment too. But we have to make sure that we offer value for money to the British consumer who has essentially seen the prices of their holidays to the eurozone as a whole increase by 15% over the last year.”
In terms of Brexit, Mr. Gibbons said the Common Travel Area will be very important but that is not creating any impact right now. He said he hopes the British-Irish visa scheme will be retained in the long term.