Donohoe and Ring welcome continued growth in overseas visit numbers

26th March, 2015

10.3% increase in overseas visits to Ireland


CSO data released today (26th March) shows that the number of overseas visits to Ireland between December 2014 and February 2015 increased by 10.3% compared to the corresponding period of 2013/2014.

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Paschal Donohoe T.D. welcomed the positive data: ‘I am very encouraged to see that the data from the CSO continues to show significant and steady growth in our overseas visit numbers. On Monday last the Taoiseach and I launched a new and ambitious Tourism Policy covering the decade ahead. The aim is that in 2025 Ireland will have a vibrant, attractive tourism sector that makes a significant contribution to employment across the country. “People, Place and Policy- Growing Tourism to 2025” represents  a fundamental examination, and a clear statement, of what we want to achieve for Irish tourism in the coming decade.  It sets out ambitious targets for growth in overseas visits and associated revenue, and increased tourism employment. The visitor numbers released today show that our ambitious policy is building from a strong base. All of our main overseas markets are showing good growth levels and I know that sentiment within the industry is very positive for the remainder of the year.’


Comparing the three-month period Dec ‘14 – Feb ‘15 with the period Dec ’13 – Feb’14:

  • Overall trips to Ireland were up by 10.3%;
  • North America was up by 6.6%;
  • Visits from Mainland Europe were up by 18.1%;
  • Visits from the rest of the world increased by 0.6%;
  • Great Britain registered an increase of 7.7% in visits.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring T.D. added: ‘I am confident that the trend in visitor numbers shown in today’s release will continue for the remainder of the year which would result in a fifth successive year of growth. This would represent a truly remarkable turnaround after the significant decline in the period 2008-2010 and a vindication of the Government’s commitment to placing tourism at the centre of our economic recovery plan.’

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘Today’s figures represent a really positive start to 2015, as we roll out our promotional programme around the world. I am delighted to see an increase in overseas visitor numbers of +10% between December 2014 and February 2015, about 134,300 additional visitors when compared with the same three-month period last year. I am really pleased to see growth from our main market areas around the world – including Britain (+7.7%), North America (+6.6%) and Mainland Europe (+18%). Our promotions received a tremendous boost earlier this month, with our Global Greening initiative for St Patrick’s Day – which was even bigger and better than ever before. Vast positive coverage was generated around the world in print, broadcast, social and online media – as the ‘greenings’ captured the imaginations of people everywhere at a key time for holiday planning and decisions. St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us and we took every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile. Our aim is to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism when we expect to welcome 7.74 million visitors – surpassing the previous record year of 2007.’


Welcoming today’s figures, Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn emphasised: ‘Although these figures are only for the start of the year, all indications point to 2015 as looking set to be another impressive year for tourism with growth trends showing no sign of slackening. Performance this year will also be buoyed up by the relative weakness of the Euro to the Dollar and Sterling and this development, combined with the fact that tourism here is offering value for money satisfaction levels not seen since 2002, will help to ensure that Ireland will be an attractive and competitive option for visitors in the year ahead.’