No sign of Brexit bite as British visitors up 6% in September

Latest figures from CSO show total number of trips here by overseas residents up 2.1%

The Guinness Storehouse at St James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin is one of Ireland’s biggest tourist attractions.

The Guinness Storehouse at St James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin is one of Ireland’s biggest tourist attractions.

 

There was a 6 per cent increase in the number of British visitors to Ireland last month, as the anticipated drop due to Brexit and the devaluation of sterling failed to materialise.

The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show the total number of trips to Ireland by overseas residents increased by 2.1 per cent to 988,700 in September, which was an overall increase of 20,500 compared to twelve months earlier.

Trips by residents of Britain increased by 6 per cent to 315,600 while trips by residents of European countries other than Britain increased by 3.6 per cent to 355,700.

Trips by residents of USA and Canada to Ireland decreased by 4 per cent to 250,900 while trips to Ireland from other areas increased by 1.1 per cent to 66,400.

The number of overseas trips made by Irish residents went up by 4.6 per cent to 831,500.

In the nine months to the end of September, the total number of trips to Ireland increased by 2.2 per cent when compared with the same period in 2018. Irish residents’ trips overseas during the same period were up by 7.6 per cent.

‘Mixed picture’

Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons said the figures “continue to indicate a very mixed picture”.

“The figures underline a continuing weak trend and reflect feedback from industry partners on the ground who have been experiencing weaker demand and have expressed concern for the remainder of 2019 and beyond,” he said.

“The uncertainty around Brexit is a very real and ongoing challenge for Irish tourism, giving rise to consumer concern in Britain and some European markets.

“Our latest wave of Brexit research – carried out in Britain, France and Germany – indicates a heightened risk of consumers postponing trips, due to uncertainty.

“Also, the fall in the value of sterling has made holidays here more expensive for British visitors, and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top source markets. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”