18.6% growth in overseas tourism revenue is good news for the economy, jobs & the sector – Donohoe & Ring

14th March, 2016

CSO figs are further evidence of tourism’s contribution to economic growth


Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe; and Minister of State, Michael Ring, have welcomed figures from the CSO published today (Monday) which confirm strong revenue growth from overseas visitors in 2015.


The figures show that spending in Ireland by overseas visitors (excluding fares) for 2015 rose by 18.6% compared with 2014. The data also shows that the number of trips to Ireland in the key target market of holidaymakers rose by 20.4%, while spending by holidaymakers was up 27.8% for 2015 when compared with 2014.


Commenting on the information from the CSO Minister Donohoe said: ‘Today’s figures confirm that 2015 was an exceptional year not just in terms of overseas visit numbers but also the associated revenue which totalled over €4.2 billion. The good news is that we are aiming for even further growth in visit numbers and associated revenue in 2016 and a strong marketing campaign is already underway. Of course this being St. Patrick’s week, Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative is taking place across the world at a time when many people are planning their holidays, giving Ireland an unparalleled platform to encourage people to pay us a visit’.


“In relation to the longer term, Minister Ring and I recently published our Tourism Action Plan in January which sets out the priority actions in the period to 2018. These actions will seek to move us toward our 2025 targets of €5 billion in overseas tourism revenue (excluding air fares or ferry costs), 250,000 jobs in the tourism sector, underpinned by ten million overseas visits per year.”


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


  • Great Britain up by 9.7%
  • North America up by 28%
  • Mainland Europe up by  19.1%
  • “Other” long-haul markets up by 14.7%


Minister Ring said: ‘€4.2 billion is a huge contribution to the Irish economy as a whole. Fortunately tourism is uniquely positioned to deliver sustainable revenues and employment across every region of the country and today’s figures confirm again that the measures we introduced for the sector are continuing to work’.


Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland said: ‘Today’s CSO figures are really strong, confirming that revenue from overseas visitors to Ireland grew by +18.6% during 2015; an additional €661 million for the Irish economy compared with 2014. Total overseas visitors grew by almost +14%; and holiday visitors grew by +20.4% during 2015 – 647,000 additional holiday visitors. This was an excellent performance and reflects the sentiment we’ve been hearing from our tourism partners overseas and here at home. We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. This week, we will roll out our St Patrick’s Day programme and our annual Global Greening initiative around the world. The programme will span Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as emerging tourism markets like China, India, the Middle East and South Africa. We plan to use every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile this week. The saturation coverage about Ireland across the global airwaves, in newspapers and digital media will be an invaluable boost for our overall 2016 tourism promotional drive’.


Welcoming the positive summary for 2015, Fáilte Ireland CEO, Shaun Quinn, cautioned against complacency and urged a continued focus on achieving incremental steady growth.

“Today’s figures reinforce that 2015 was indeed a record year however we must maintain a strategic approach to developing tourism. Fluctuations in the currency markets  and international volatility could change our positive outlook very quickly so we would urge the tourism sector to remain vigilant and to continue focussing on consistent and sustainable growth as well as maintaining value for money in the year ahead.


“This year Fáilte Ireland is committed to working with tourism businesses to boost regionality and seasonality – aiming for greater visitor numbers beyond the usual hotspots and continuing to grow activity outside of the summer season.  Thiswill ensure tourism enjoys long-term growth we can count on across the country in months ahead.”