Numbers of overseas visitors coming to Ireland are expected to hit their highest levels ever next year, according to projections by Tourism Ireland to be published today.
The organisation expects 7.74 million visitors to come to Ireland in 2015, surpassing the previous record year of 2007, and 6 per cent more than came this year.
Tourism figures this year are on target to reach 7.3 million visitors, up 8.8 per cent on last year.
The amount of money spent by overseas tourists is forecast to reach €3.7 billion this year, up almost 11 per cent on last year, while next year’s spending is expected to hit almost €4 billion.
Tourism Ireland will this morning publish its overseas marketing plans for 2015, which will focus on what it calls Ireland’s “best prospect” visitors – tourists from Britain, North America and mainland Europe.
These countries offer the best return on investment in numbers of visitors and the amount they spend, it said.
However it will also target “emerging markets of high potential” particularly China and India, where the new British-Irish visa scheme, will be highlighted.
An advertising campaign with the slogan Jump into Ireland will run in 22 countries, promoting the Wild Atlantic Way and Dubline, the Dublin Discovery Trail that aims to draw visitors from Trinity College in the city centre to Kilmainham in the west of the city. The organisation will also be seeking to attract "culturally curious" visitors it said, with events marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of WB Yeats, as well as promotions highlighting Irish design and designers.
Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe said that identifying the most effective ways of attracting overseas visitors, and tailoring holidays for different markets, was vital to keeping and creating jobs in the industry.
“Building on the success of the Wild Atlantic Way, developing a branding model for Dublin through the recently established Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance, and developing a unifying tourism proposition for the south and east region will ensure that all parts of Ireland benefit from our tourism marketing strategy,” he said
By 2025 Tourism Ireland aims to attract 10 million visitors a year to Ireland, generating €5 billion for the economy, and helping to sustain 250,000 jobs.
Tourism Ireland is the second most popular tourism board in the world on YouTube, number three on Twitter, and fourth on Facebook with about 2.65 million fans.