Decline in British visitors brings Irish tourism numbers down

Growth in North American and long-haul markets overshadowed by 7% UK drop

The Cliffs of Moher. The number of nights spent in Ireland by overseas travellers decreased  4.1%  compared with the same period last year, from 11.6m to 11.1m

The Cliffs of Moher. The number of nights spent in Ireland by overseas travellers decreased 4.1% compared with the same period last year, from 11.6m to 11.1m

 

The number of people visiting Ireland from Britain fell 7 per cent in the first three months of the year, travel figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

The decline in the British market overshadowed substantial increases in the numbers travelling to the State from North America (up 14 per cent) and long-haul markets such as Australia (up 16 per cent) as total visitor numbers fell by 1 per cent.

With the value of sterling falling following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the amount spent in the State by British visitors fell by almost 8 per cent. This follows warnings from tourism bodies about the threat posed to the sector by the Brexit vote.

Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons said the movement of sterling against the euro and dollar in the wake of Brexit had made the UK a more competitive destination for tourists from mainland Europe and the United States.

The number of nights spent in Ireland by overseas travellers decreased by 4.1 per cent compared with the same period last year, from 11.6 million to 11.1 million. The average length of overseas trips to Ireland fell from 6.5 nights to 6.2 nights in the same period.

The trips abroad by Irish people increased by 6.2 per cent year on year to almost 1.57 million. Spending on tourism and travel by Irish residents overseas decreased 1.3 per cent to €958 million.