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16.37 17 Dec 2019


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It is estimated that 11.2 million tourists will have visited Ireland in 2019, generating €5.8 billion for the economy.

The latest projections from Tourism Ireland show that despite a "mixed year", the figures are almost on par with the records set in 2018.

325,000 jobs across the island of Ireland are supported by tourism.

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Tourism Ireland said that it had worked to combat worry among consumers in Britain and Europe around the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Additionally, economic slowdown in some markets and the first reduction in air access to Ireland in eight years were causes for concern.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland said: "Our focus throughout the year has been to keep Ireland ‘top of mind’ for potential visitors across the world.

“Throughout 2019, Tourism Ireland undertook a packed programme of promotions, to bring Ireland to the attention of travellers everywhere."

These included the roll-out of the global ‘Fill your Heart with Ireland’ campaigns to encourage more visitors to come here in the off-seasons.

The organisation is aiming to grow overseas tourism revenue to €6.54 billion and visitor numbers to 12 million by 2022 as part of its new three-year strategy.

Mr Gibbons said: “It is not enough to simply target growth at all costs, therefore our new, three-year strategy is built on a set of sustainable destination marketing principles.

"These principles will underpin all of Tourism Ireland’s activities and are reflected in our renewed emphasis on driving business to the regions and ensuring the benefits of tourism growth are distributed right around the island of Ireland, on a year-round basis.

He added: "By applying these principles and through working with our partners on wider sustainability issues, we are confident that overseas tourism will help communities to prosper, while our overseas visitors continue to enjoy a great holiday experience."

Main image: Skellig Michael in C Kerry. Photo:  Brian Lawless/PA Archive/PA Images

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