Despite Brexit, weak Sterling and a serious decline in BGritish visitors, 2017 has been the best year ever for overseas tourism to the island of Ireland, with revenue generated by international visitors in the region of €5.78 billion (+6.7% on 2016), delivered by some 10.65 million visitors. Growth has come from all main markets around the world, with
the exception of Britain – with record numbers arriving here from North America, Mainland Europe, Australia and developing markets.
Tourism Ireland reflected on highlights of its promotional activity around the world in 2017. These have included campaigns for Ireland’s Ancient East, Dublin, the Wild Atlantic Way, Game of Thrones, a campaign to capitalise on the Women’s Rugby World Cup, as well as Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative on St Patrick’s Day, which was bigger than ever before this year.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, said: “2017 looks set to be another record year for overseas tourism to Ireland. The latest CSO figures indicate that over 8.5 million people visited during the January to October period, an increase of +3.1%, or an additional 254,000 overseas visitors, when compared with 2016. Overseas tourism is likely to contribute over €4.9 billion to the Irish economy this year, helping to sustain 225,000 jobs in communities around the country. In Budget 2018, the Government continued to support the tourism sector with a €2 million capital investment in digital tourism marketing, increased funding for signature experience brands such as the Lakelands Region and for Greenways, as well as retaining the lower 9% VAT rate. The continued growth of the sector over the last number of years is testament to the great work being done all across the sector and today, I want to congratulate Tourism Ireland on another very successful year.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Throughout 2017, Tourism Ireland undertook a packed programme of promotions, to bring Ireland to the attention of travellers everywhere. A major focus of our activity was Ireland’s Ancient East, Dublin, the Wild Atlantic Way and Northern Ireland; other important themes have included screen tourism and, in particular, Game of Thrones.”