Minister Donohoe welcomes further growth in visitor expenditure in 2014

11th December, 2014

€2.8bn spent by overseas visitors further supports our economic recovery


Figures published today (Thursday) by the CSO confirmed that the revenue accruing to the Irish economy from overseas visitors has continued to grow in 2014. Today’s data shows that for the first nine months of the year an estimated €2.8 billion was spent by overseas visitors in Ireland.


Minsiter Donohoe said: ‘This is a time of great positivity in Irish tourism and I welcome today’s  CSO ‘Tourism and Travel’ publication, which shows an increase of €241 million (or +9.3 %) in spending from overseas visits to Ireland for the first 9 months of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013.


“This Government realised that the tourism sector could play a critical part in our economic recovery. To support the sector, we introduced measures like a reduction in the rate of the Air Travel Tax to zero and the reduction of VAT to 9% on tourism-related services. These measures have helped reinforce the message that Ireland continues to offer greatly improved value and today’s data shows that they have worked in terms of enticing visitors to come and spend here. We remain ambitious though and last week, I launched the Tourism Ireland’s 2015 Marketing Plans which are targeting further growth of 6% in visitor numbers next year and a further 7% in associated revenue.”


Today’s figures from the CSO also show that for the first 9 months of 2014 compared to the same period of 2013, there was a +3.5% increase in revenue from visits from Great Britain, a +14.1% increase from North America and a +22.8% increase from long-haul destinations. Revenue from ‘holidaymakers’ was up +5.8%, ‘business’ was up 5.6% and ‘Visiting friends and relatives’ was up +23.4%.


Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring T.D. added: ‘I welcome today’s further confirmation from the CSO that the tourism sector is enjoying another year of growth. The Government and the tourism industry are working hard to maintain this positive momentum. In this regard I was pleased earlier this week to announce funding of almost €2 million for key national festivals and events in 2015. The funding is aimed at boosting tourism activity and driving further growth in visitor numbers in the years ahead’.


Commenting on the CSO figures, Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘Today’s CSO figures are very strong – confirming that holidaymakers from overseas grew by +7% in the firstnine months of 2014.  I am particularly pleased to see holidaymaker growth from all market areas and particularly from the important Great Britain and North American markets, with growth of +8% and +11% respectively. Mainland Europe also continued to perform strongly with +6% increase in holidaymakers over this period, driven largely by +17% growth from Germany.  And, more importantly for the Irish economy, revenue from overseas tourists grew by +9% in the period January to September 2014. Given that overseas tourism business accounts for almost 60% of all tourism revenue, this is good news indeed, with the increase in overseas holidaymakers and revenue helping to boost employment around the country’.


Niall Gibbons continued: ‘This was a strong performance and reflects the sentiment we are hearing from our tourism industry partners in the markets and here at home. We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. Just last week we launched our marketing plans for 2015 which will see us build on this year’s growth to deliver almost €4 billion (+7%) in overseas tourism revenue to the Irish economy by welcoming 7.7 million visitors, surpassing the previous record year for visitors in 2007’.


Meanwhile, Shaun Quinn, chief executive of Fáilte Ireland commented: ‘These are the kind of results that we really like to see in tourism – visitor numbers are significantly up but crucially revenue is rising at an even faster rate. This means that we are receiving more visitors and that they are spending more than ever before. Looking at the markets, Germany has performed impressively and the US has put in a record performance. Indeed, the performance of the American market has been so good that, for the first time ever, we have passed the one million mark in US visitors by September. We have a great tourism product, a variety of new attractions in development and we are providing good value for money to those who come here. With these prevailing conditions at our back, we are well-positioned to sustain good growth levels into 2015’.