Tourism Ireland welcomes exceptional +17% growth for December 2015 to February 2016
1 million visitors in first two months of the year – for the first time ever
Welcoming figures published today by the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland between December 2015 and February 2016, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, 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 is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
- Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
- In 2015, we welcomed more than 9.3 million overseas visitors to Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.7 billion.
- Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.