17.5% rise in overseas tourism revenue provides continued boost to economy – Donohoe & Ring

10th December, 2015

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, and Minister of State, Michael Ring TD, have welcomed new CSO figures out today (Thursday) which confirm very strong revenue figures from overseas visitors this year. The figures show that spending in Ireland by overseas visitors (excluding fares) for the first nine months of the year rose by 17.5%, compared with the corresponding period of 2014. The data also shows that the number of trips in the key target market of holidaymakers rose by 19.6%. The figures are published in the CSO’s Tourism and Travel statistics.


Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe T.D. said: ‘We were already aware of the strong visit numbers, but today’s revenue figures show the associated economic impact.  The total expenditure in the nine month period amounted to over €3.3 billion which is a highly significant contribution to the Irish economy benefitting every part of the country. 2015 is now on course to be a record year for both visit numbers to Ireland and for associated expenditure. We are determined to maintain this positive momentum and I recently launched Tourism Ireland’s 2016 Marketing Plans, targeting a further 5% growth in overseas visitor revenue next year’.


The figures confirm significant growth in revenue across all our main market areas. In terms of the spend associated with overseas visits, all of our main markets grew in the first nine months of 2015 compared to 2014:


  • Great Britain increased by 9.2%;
  • North America increased by 27.1 %;
  • Mainland Europe increased by 18.5%;
  • Other long-haul markets increased by 9.3%


Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD also welcomed today’s CSO figures, and in particular the increase in the number of bednights saying: ‘I am delighted to see that the total number of bednights in the main categories of paid accommodation for the first nine months of 2015 compared to the same nine month period of 2014 showed an increase of 4.79 million (+21.8%). Competitiveness and value will continue to be vitally important if we are to grow further and we must remain vigilant to ensure that this value is maintained. Our new Tourism Action Plan will be launched early in the New Year and will set out a range of specific actions to ensure that our tourism industry will grow even further in the medium term’.


Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘Today’s CSO figures are really strong, confirming that holiday visitors from overseas grew by +19% in the first nine months of 2015 – more than half a million additional holiday visitors. I am pleased to see holidaymaker growth from all market areas and particularly from the important Great Britain, Mainland Europe and North American markets, with growth of +18%, +23% and +17% respectively. And, more importantly for the Irish economy, revenue from overseas visitors to Ireland grew by almost +18% during this period, an additional half a billion euro compared with the first nine months of 2014. Total overseas visitors grew by almost +12% during January-September, or an additional 659,000 visitors. This was an excellent performance and reflects the sentiment we are hearing from our tourism industry partners overseas and here at home. We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. Just last week we launched our marketing plans for 2016, which will see us build on this year’s growth to deliver €4.4 billion (+5%) in overseas tourism revenue to the Irish economy, by welcoming 8.2 million visitors, making 2016 another record year for tourism’.


The CEO of Fáilte Ireland Shaun Quinn, welcoming today’s figures, said: ‘Clearly, 2015 has been the year that tourism bounced back. This year’s growth is only the beginning as Fáilte Ireland initiatives, such as the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and our new Brand for Dublin, are only just beginning to take effect. With these initiatives in the field, we are now properly positioned for accelerated growth over the next few years, but only if we maintain our competitiveness and keep our focus on what works.  Tourism has been through a boom and bust cycle and we are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past. With an emphasis on competitiveness, compelling experiences on the ground and a greater online impact, Fáilte Ireland will continue to work with our many partners in the sector to ensure growth is sustained and evergreen – in all parts of the country and all year round’.