Increase of 12.8% in overseas visits shows Govt policies and hard work of sector are paying off – Donohoe & Ring

25th November, 2015

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD, today (Wednesday) welcomed the latest official data on overseas travel from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), which showed an increase of 12.8% in overseas visits to Ireland for the first ten months of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014.


Commenting on the figures, Minister Donohoe stated: ‘The figures published by the CSO today confirm that the strong tourism performance from overseas markets has continued into the Autumn months. All of our main markets are showing good growth levels and we remain on target for our best ever year in terms of overseas visits.’

Today’s CSO figures on Overseas Travel show:

  • At over 7.4 million visits, overall trips to Ireland were up 12.8% in the first ten months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.  For the three-month period from August to October 2015, overseas trips to Ireland increased by 14.0%.
  • Visits from Mainland Europe grew by 14.1% for January to October 2015, to 2,633,100 visits and by 16.9% for the August to October period.
  • North America registered an increase of 13.3% for January to October 2015 (1,343,400 visits) and of 10.6% in the August to October 2015 period.
  • Visits from Great Britain were up by 11.3% for January to October 2015 (2,981,600 visits) and by 11.8% for the three months from August to October 2015 compared to the corresponding period of 2014.
  • Visits from the rest of the world (mostly long-haul and developing markets) totalled 461,300 for the first ten months of 2015 (representing an increase of 13.5%) and increased by 23.3% for the three months from August to October alone.

Minister Donohoe added: ‘While today’s figures are very encouraging, and are testament to policies put in place by the Government and the hard work of the sector, we have to always look forward. On Monday next I will be launching the 2016 Marketing Plans for Tourism Ireland. Looking to the longer term, I will publish a detailed Tourism Action Plan early in 2016 so that the necessary structures are in place to ensure that the sector can continue to grow in a sustainable manner into the future’.
Commenting on the figures, Minister of State Michael Ring T.D. stated: ‘The continued growth in visitor numbers is a tribute to the work of the tourism sector. Tourism has played a very significant part in our economic recovery with every region of the country benefitting. We have another exciting schedule of festivals and events planned for next year and I was delighted to confirm last week that the Government will provide financial support to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open which will be hosted at The K Club in 2016. 2015 looks likely to break the previous record year of 2007 and this Government has ensured that the necessary supports are in place to grow tourism even further in the future’.


Commenting on the CSO Overseas Travel figures, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘Today’s figures indicate that 2015 is set to be a record year for Irish tourism, with more than 7.4 million people arriving during the January to October period – an increase of +12.8%, or an additional 842,300 overseas visitors, when compared to 2014. I am delighted to report that growth has been recorded from all of our markets around the world, with record numbers arriving here from North America (+13% on the first ten months of 2014). Ireland now welcomes 10% of all American visitors to Europe – particularly noteworthy given the intense competition from other destinations. Mainland Europe has also turned in another superb performance (+14%), with important markets like Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Nordic region and Benelux all recording really good growth. I also welcome the continued strong performance from Britain (+11%), our largest market for overseas tourism, and from our long-haul markets like Australia, China and India (+13.5)’.


Welcoming today’s positive figures, Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn emphasised: “Having recently met with tourism industry leaders in a series of meetings around the country, I can confirm that these figures are mirrored by strong local performances and a buoyant sense of optimism on the ground.


“While the general expectation is that growth will continue into next year, we can’t be too complacent and tourism can still be influenced by external factors – whether currency exchange fluctuations or unexpected global events. For next year, we need to maintain our focus on those factors we can control, namely the quality of our offering and a competitive level of value for money. Furthermore, Fáilte Ireland will be working with the industry to sustain growth in 2016 through greater emphasis on a longer season and better regional distribution to ensure we maximise the full potential of tourism for all regions.”