New CSO figures show trips to Ireland increased almost 11%
The number of trips made to Ireland increased by 10.9% in 2016, new Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show.
In 2016, the total number of trips to Ireland was 9,584,400. Between October and December last year, the total number of trips here exceeded 2.1 million - a rise of 7.2% compared to the same time frame in 2015.
Visitors from Great Britain remain the most frequent, increasing by 10.6% in 2016 to 3,924,100. Trips by residents of European Countries increased by 8.5%. The number of North American tourists visiting Ireland increased by 19.4% to 1,808,000.
Revenue generated from the visits is out at an estimated €5.4 billion.
On the figures, Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons called 2016 "record-breaking".
"Ireland now welcomes 10% of all American visitors to Europe – particularly noteworthy given the intense competition from other destinations", he said. "Our focus now is on the year ahead. Tourism Ireland will create ‘stand out’ for the island of Ireland around the world throughout 2017, highlighting iconic experiences like the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Titanic Belfast and the Causeway Coastal Route."
He went on to highlight the challenges facing the company in 2017, including Brexit, but added that access from Britain to Ireland remains strong – with 237,000 airline seats and 45,000 car spaces on ferries available each week.
"We will continue to work with our industry partners, at home and in Britain, to highlight the ease of getting to the island of Ireland," he concluded.
There was an increase of 6.3% in the number of overseas trips made by Irish residents in 2016 to 7.4 million. The total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents during the last three months of 2016 alone rose by 10% to 1.7 million.