Nearly 9% rise in the number of tourists visiting Ireland

Visitors from Europe, the US, Canada and Britain are all up

Nearly 9% rise in the number of tourists visiting Ireland

File photo shows tourists looking at a map in Dublin | Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

New figures show the total number of trips to Ireland by people overseas increased by 8.7% in May.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) say this was an overall increase of 82,200 compared to 12 months earlier.

The total number of tourists visiting Ireland stood at 1,025,600.

Trips by residents of Great Britain increased by 6.8% to 349,900, while trips by those from other European countries excluding the UK increased by 12.4% to 385,300.

Trips from the US and Canada also jumped by 9.8% to 234,700.

While trips to Ireland from other areas fell by 5.9% to 55,800.

The total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents during May increased by 11.2% to 711,200.

Commenting on figures, CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons said: "North America continues to perform extremely well - with arrivals up 12.4%, around 82,000 additional US and Canadian visitors.

"We've also seen excellent results from mainland Europe, up 12.3% on January-May last year, with particularly strong performances from Germany (25.6%) and Italy (16%).

"Tourism Ireland has prioritised mainland Europe and North America, as markets which offer a strong return on investment, in terms of holiday visitors and expenditure."

The group has welcomed an increase in arrivals from Britain, but cautions that it is "too early to say" if this represents a turnaround in the long-term trend.