Over 10% more tourists visited Ireland this summer

North American visitors lead the way, but numbers were up across the board...

Trips to Ireland were up by 10.8% this summer when compared to the same period last year, according new figures on overseas travel from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

An increase of 300,300 visitors between June and August made for an overall total of 3,088,000 trips to Ireland.

Visits from North America were up 13.2% to 667,600.

More people were arriving from our main tourism market, Great Britain, as well, up 10.5% to 1,132,500.

Trips by residents of other European countries were up 10.8% over last year, at 1,096,200, while the amount of visitors from other areas around the globe climbed 4.7% to 191,700.

Looking at the year thus far, the total number of trips to Ireland to the end of August increased by 12.3% over the same period in 2015. 

Going the other way, the total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents had a small increase of 1.8% to 2,357,600.

The new CSO data chimes with a recent survey by Fáilte Ireland which painted a very positive picture for the tourism sector.

Fáilte Ireland's Autumn Tourism Barometer showed 84% of hotels and 76% of guesthouses had increased business this summer, compared to 2015.

Overall, 72% of businesses were positive about the outlook for the sector.

Hotels that open all year round were found to be most optimistic businesses about the coming months, with 74% saying they expect business to be up.

Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn said: “As expected, tourism businesses across the country had another successful summer and with many recording their best season ever."

Earlier this month, the CSO revealed the financial impact Ireland's current popularity is having on the tourism industry.

Looking at the first half of the year, revenue from overseas visitors increased by 9% to €1.93 billion, representing an additional €165m for the Irish economy.

Total overseas visitors grew by 11% to 3.9 million – almost 400,000 additional visitors – for the first half of the year. The CSO also revealed that the number of nights spent here by overseas travellers in the second quarter climbed by 5.3%.