Visitors to Ireland down this summer


The number of people visiting Ireland fell by 44,000 this summer compared to the same period last year, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office published today.

Between June and August, 2.12 million trips were made to Ireland by foreign visitors, a 2 per cent decrease on 2011. The CSO data includes journeys taken in the period, for leisure or business.

The biggest fall was in visitors from the UK, with numbers declining by 6 per cent to 839,800. The number of trips taken by people from the US visitors was also down significantly, by 2.8 per cent to 365,300.

Visitors from the UK still made up the largest cohort, followed by Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Visits from residents of other European countries increased by 2.1 per cent to 787,900, while people coming from the rest of the world rose by 3.3 per cent to 129,800.

The number of foreign journeys taken by Irish people this summer increased by 1.5 per cent to 2, 075,300.

Domestic holidays taken by Irish people in Ireland decreased, bringing the total number of trips taken by Irish people to almost 4.2 million, a decrease of 0.3 per cent on last year.

Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar said sentiment from hotels and visitor attractions suggested the tourism sector is doing better than is indicated in these visitor numbers, which could indicate more people are coming to Ireland for holidays and leisure as well as conferences and business events.

“Given the kinds of challenges facing consumers in many economies, the overall picture for our overseas tourism performance is far from gloomy,” said Mr Varadkar, who is in the US to promote the Gathering Ireland 2013.

“The decline in visits from Great Britain is a concern, although clearly the summer weather will have encouraged many British people to opt for sunnier climes during the peak season,” he added.

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