Tourist numbers continue to increase in 2015

Overseas visitors spending more money in Ireland as tourism industry expands

The number of visits to Ireland has increased from 6.5 million in 2012 to 7.6 million last year.

The number of overseas visits to Ireland rose again in the first three months of 2015, and tourists are spending more money according to new figures.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has said more than 1.5 million trips were made to Ireland between January and March this year, a 14.1 per cent increase for the same period in 2014.

The number of visits to Ireland has increased from 6.5 million in 2012 to 7.6 million last year.

The figures also show Irish people are travelling abroad more often, with a 13.2 per cent increase in overseas trips recorded between January and March.


"We were already aware that 2015 has started very well for the tourism sector, with increased visitor numbers from all our main markets," said Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe.

“In the first quarter of 2015 alone, our overseas visitors spent an estimated €590 million in Ireland, which is an enormous contribution to our economy and an increase of 10.5 per cent on the corresponding period of 2014,” he added.

Spending by visitors to Ireland rose by €54 million from the first quarter of last year. When combined with total fare receipts for Irish carriers who brought people into the country, the overall figure rises to €780 million – an €80 million increase from corresponding 2014 stats.

Visitors from Britain spent the most of any nationality, and there was an increased expenditure flow from every major target market except for Australia and New Zealand.

Irish people travelling abroad spent €14 million more than tourists who came here within the same time period. The expenditure gap was €24 million for the first quarter of last year.

Although most key indicators from the latest report were positive, the average stay in Ireland for tourists decreased marginally from last year.

"Our key objective now will be to ensure we can sustain this growth," said Fáilte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn. "Fáilte Ireland will be using every opportunity to maximise tourism growth and to ensure the sector delivers the additional revenue and jobs that it is more than capable of doing."