Irish tourism sector continues to grow

Published on : Friday, December 15, 2017

Irish tourismAs per Tourism Ireland’s end of year review, after a period of downturn, Ireland’s tourism sector continues to go from strength to strength. 2016 was the strongest year in terms of visitor numbers and revenue, with 10.6m tourists bringing in almost €5.8bn in revenue.

Growth was recorded in all the main markets around the world, with the exception of the UK. Record numbers arrived from North America, mainland Europe, Australia and the developing markets.

Tourism Ireland is now the fourth most popular tourism board in the world on Facebook (almost 4.1m fans), number four on Twitter (457,000 followers) and number three on YouTube (40.8m views).

By year-end, Tourism Ireland’s international website, is expected to attract around 19.3m visitors. Arrival of tourists to Ireland has improved dramatically over the year, with the introduction of new routes introduced by a range of carriers – Qatar Airways service between Doha and Dublin; an Aer Lingus flight to Dublin from Miami, as well as expanded services on Aer Lingus flights from Los Angeles, Chicago and Orlando.
More than 550,000 direct, one-way airline seats to the island of Ireland were available during the summer of 2017.

Next year, there will be new routes coming into existence. These include a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Dublin — Ireland’s first ever direct flight from the Asia-Pacific region; new Aer Lingus flights from Seattle and Philadelphia; Air Canada services between Toronto and Shannon and between Montreal and Dublin and increased Ryanair services from Germany. Irish Ferries will introduce its new ferry, the WB Yeats in July, which will double the number of sailings between France and Ireland, with daily departures in alternate directions.

The CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons said, “Throughout 2017, Tourism Ireland undertook a packed programme of promotions, to bring Ireland to the attention of travellers everywhere. A major focus of our activity was Ireland’s Ancient East, Dublin, the Wild Atlantic Way and Northern Ireland; other important themes have included screen tourism and, in particular, Game of Thrones.”

Mr Gibbons said the target for 2018 was to develop overseas tourism revenue by 5% to €6bn for the economies north and south.

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