It has been a record year for tourism in Ireland

Eleven months in and we've had more visitors than all of 2015

Tourism Ireland, marketing, tourists, Star Wars, social media, Niall Gibbons

The Black Valley in Co Kerry | Image:

It has been a record year for tourism in Ireland with the country receiving more visitors in the eleven months of this year so far than all of 2015.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today released figures which show there has been 8,919,700 million visits to Ireland up to the end of November 2016. This surpasses the 8,643,100 people who came here for the whole of 2015.

Speaking speaking at the announcement of the figures, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan said: “In welcoming this very strong performance in overseas tourism, I was also pleased to note the Household Travel Survey results published last week by the CSO, which show that our home holiday market is also growing.

"Domestic holiday trips and related expenditure were each up by over 3% in the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same period last year. When considering the overseas and domestic visit statistics together, it is clear that Ireland's tourism offering continues to appeal to holidaymakers from home and away.

"I am confident, with the continued collaboration between the industry and the tourism agencies to strengthen the tourism product and enhance the visitor experience, we can sustain positive performances for many years to come," he added.

The news of record visitor numbers comes after Ireland was named the best tourist destination in Europe by Travel Weekly readers earlier this week.