‘Great year’ for tourism as visitor numbers increase

Nearly 20 per cent more Americans travelled to Ireland this summer

Tourists on Inis Mór the largest of the Aran Islands. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / THE IRISH TIMES

Tourists on Inis Mór the largest of the Aran Islands. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / THE IRISH TIMES

Thu, Sep 26, 2013, 12:46

The number of overseas trips to Ireland increased by 6.7 per cent over the summer months this year, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

In the period June to August, 2,264,800 trips to Ireland were made, an overall increase of 142,000 compared to the same period twelve months earlier.

Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar said 2013 had been a “great year” for tourism in Ireland and pointed to improved value for money and the Gathering to explain the growth.

The summer months saw a dramatic rise in the number of North American visitors with 437,900 trips made, an increase of 19.9 per cent.

Trips by residents of Britain increased by 4.7 per cent to 879,500 while trips from other European countries were up by 0.9 per cent to 794,700.

The total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents during the period June - August 2013 increased by 3.1 per cent to 2,139,200.

The total number of trips to Ireland increased by 6.5 per cent for the period January to August 2013 when compared to the same period last year.

“Improved value for money, better air access and The Gathering have all combined to give us an excellent year for inbound tourism,” Mr Varadkar said. “It looks like being a record year from North America and I am reassured by growth from Britain. We now need to build on this success in 2014.”