Tourism Ireland sees record year with over 10.6 million visitors

It says growth has come from all markets, except Britain

Tourism Ireland sees record year with over 10.6 million visitors

Slea Head in Co Kerry | Image:

Ireland has brought in another record number of tourists over the past 12 months.

Tourism Ireland says 2017 has been the best year ever for overseas tourism.

Some €5.78bn worth of revenue was generated by 10.65 million visitors.

It says growth has come from all of Ireland's main markets, with the exception of Britain.

Record numbers have arrived here from North America, mainland Europe, Australia and developing markets.

Tourism Ireland says highlights have included campaigns for Ireland's Ancient East, Dublin, the Wild Atlantic Way, Game of Thrones, a campaign to capitalise on the Women's Rugby World Cup, as well as Tourism Ireland's annual Global Greening initiative on St Patrick's Day.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, said: "2017 looks set to be another record year for overseas tourism to Ireland.

"The latest CSO figures indicate that over 8.5 million people visited during the January to October period, an increase of 3.1%, or an additional 254,000 overseas visitors, when compared with 2016.

"Overseas tourism is likely to contribute over €4.9bn to the Irish economy this year, helping to sustain 225,000 jobs in communities around the country."

At the beginning of this month, Tourism Ireland launched its marketing plans to promote Ireland in 2018 - with a target to grow overseas tourism revenue by 5%, to €6bn for the economies north and south.

Commenting on the year ahead, CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons said: "We are heading into 2018 in a position of some strength, based on the success of 2017.

"Over the coming weeks and months, Tourism Ireland will once again leverage the huge global popularity of Star Wars for Irish tourism.

"We will launch the first phase of our new Star Wars campaign next week, targeting fans of the science fiction franchise everywhere."