Visitors to Ireland set to hit record heights in 2015

More than 7.4 million people arrived in first 10 months of the year, acording to CSO data

View from slopes of Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo. Photograph: Joe Cornish/Riser/Getty.

View from slopes of Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo. Photograph: Joe Cornish/Riser/Getty.

 

The number of tourists visiting Ireland is set to hit record heights in 2015 with more than 7.4 million arriving in the first 10 months of the year between January and October.

The number of visitors rose by 12.8 per cent in the first 10 months of the year when compared to the same period in 2014, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office.

Some 1,028,900 people from Great Britain visited Ireland between August and October, an increase of 11.8 per cent on last year. About 920,300 people from other European countries visited during the same period, a rise of 16.9 per cent. Almost 3 million people from Great Britain and more than 2.6 million people from mainland Europe visited Ireland between January and October of this year.

The number of people visiting from north America also rose substantially with 486,400 tourists visiting between August and October, an increase of 10.6 per cent. A total of 1,343,400 north Americans visited Ireland in the first 10 months of the year.

The number of visitors from other countries around the world jumped during the three months from August to October with an additional 169,200 people arriving in Ireland or a rise of 23.3 per cent.

The number of Irish people travelling overseas also rose, with more than 2 million outbound trips recorded, up 4.3 per cent on the same time last year.

Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe said the latest figures confirmed a strong tourism performance so far this year, adding that Ireland was on target for its “best year ever in terms of overseas visits”.

“While today’s figures are very encouraging, and are testament to policies put in place by the Government and the hard work of the sector, we have to always look forward,” said Mr Donohoe.

Fáilte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn welcomed the latest figures, saying there was a “buoyant sense of optimism” among tourism industry leaders around Ireland, but warned the industry not to become complacent.

“While the general expectation is that growth will continue into next year, we can’t be too complacent and tourism can still be influenced by external factors - whether currency exchange fluctuations or unexpected global events,” said Mr Quinn. “For next year, we need to maintain our focus on those factors we can control, namely the quality of our offering and a competitive level of value for money.”

Chief executive of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, highlighted the “record numbers” arriving in Ireland from north America so far in 2015 and said the latest figures indicated 2015 was “set to be a record year for Irish tourism”.