Nearly 20% more tourists visit Ireland so far this year

This translates to about 271,400 additional visitors

Tourism, Ireland, CSO, tourism, Britain, North America, tourists, increase, Tourism Ireland, Paschal Donohoe

Tourists check their maps in Dublin city centre | Image: RollingNews.ie

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show an 18.4% increase in overseas visits to Ireland for November 2015 to January 2016.

This is compared to the same period of 2014/2015, and translates to about 271,400 additional visitors.

While overall trips to Ireland were up by just over 18%, visits from North America were up by 19.4%, mainland Europe saw a 21.1% increase, while visits from the rest of the world grew by 10.6%.

While people coming from Great Britain made up an increase of 17.5% in visits.

Commenting on the CSO data, Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe said: "I welcome today’s statistics which show that the number of overseas visitors coming to Ireland continues to grow".

"2015 saw the highest ever number of overseas visits to Ireland and we are aiming for even further growth in visit numbers and associated revenue in 2016".

Welcoming the figures, Niall Gibbons - CEO of Tourism Ireland - said: "Today's figures represent a very positive start to 2016, as we roll out our promotional programme around the world".

"I am very pleased to see an increase in overseas visitor numbers of 18.4% between November 2015 and January 2016, about 271,400 additional visitors when compared with the same three-month period last year".

"I am delighted to report that growth was recorded from all of our markets around the world", he added.