Record year for Irish tourism in 2015

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This year has been a record year for tourism according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). With about 7.9 million visitors (+11% over 2014) contributing more than €4.2 billion (+16%) in revenue to the economy, Tourism Ireland have said it was the best year for overseas visitors ever.

Growth has come from all markets, with the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Spain and Australia all turning in record performances once again this year. Great Britain, our largest tourism market, has also seen strong growth of +10% this year.

causeway

Latest figures from the CSO (Central Statistics Office) show that holiday visitors from overseas grew by +19% in the first nine months of 2015, an extra half a million holidaymakers. And, more importantly for the Irish economy, revenue from overseas visitors to Ireland grew by +18% during this period, an additional half a billion euro compared with the first nine months of 2014.

Tourism Ireland say they owe the success to promotional activity around the world in 2015. These have included the Wild Atlantic Way, Game of Thrones, the 150th anniversary of the birth of WB Yeats and its ‘Ireland says I do’ campaign, as well as Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative on St Patrick’s Day, which was bigger than ever before this year.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said:

“Throughout 2015, Tourism Ireland undertook a packed programme of promotions, to bring Ireland to the attention of travellers everywhere. A major focus of our activity was the Wild Atlantic Way; other important themes have included ID2015 (Year of Irish Design) and Yeats2015.”

At the end of November, Tourism Ireland launched its marketing plans to promote Ireland in 2016 and beyond, with ambitious targets to welcome a record 8.2 million visitors to Ireland next year.

Commenting on the plans for 2016, Niall Gibbons said:

“Following a record 2015, ambitious targets have been set for 2016 and beyond. Next year, we will unveil Ireland’s Ancient East around the world, while continuing to place a major focus on the Wild Atlantic Way. We will also highlight Dublin, in particular capitalising on the recent inclusion of Dublin at number three in the world in the prestigious ‘Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2016’. This week’s release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens – which will feature Skellig Michael – also presents Tourism Ireland with a truly unique opportunity to highlight the South West and Ireland in 2016.”