British tourists ditch Ireland

But the country is attracting more North Americans...

British tourists ditch Ireland

Rolf Haid/DPA/PA Images

New figures from the CSO show that overseas visits to Ireland are still on the rise. The total number of tourists who travelled here during the first quarter of 2017 was 0.6% higher than the same period last year.

Almost 1.8 million visits were recorded during the 12 week period.

While the headline figures are positive, there has been a significant drop in the number of British tourists coming to Ireland - as trips from England, Walse, and Scotland decreased by 6.5% during the three months.

Meanwhile, visits from North America increased by 23.2% compared to 2016. The number of visitors coming from mainland Europe also decreased, but only by 0.6%. Visits from the rest of the world increased by 16%.

Shane Ross T.D., Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport commented on the data: "It is going to be a challenge to continue this upward curve but the increase in visitors in the first quarter is encouraging. I am particularly pleased with the increase in visitors from North America, which registered an increase in visits of 23.2%.

"Whilst the overall figures remain positive, the first quarter of 2017 has seen a drop in the number of visits from Great Britain. This provides an indication of the challenge the Irish tourism industry is facing following Great Britain’s decision to leave the EU. It is a challenge that the Government will meet, working with the tourism agencies and the industry," he continued.