Overseas tourism revenue shows strong growth for first 3 months of year

11th June, 2015

Revenue increase of 10%+ contributing to job creation & economic development


New CSO figures released today (Thursday) confirm strong growth in revenue figures from overseas visitors for the first three months of 2015. The Tourism and Travel statistics show that spending in Ireland by overseas visitors (excluding fares) for the first quarter of the year rose by 10.5% compared with the same period in 2014. The data also shows that the number of trips to Ireland in the key target market of holidaymakers rose by 13.3%, while spending by holidaymakers was up 12.9% for Quarter 1 of 2015 when compared with the same period in 2014.


Commenting on the figures, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, said: ‘We were already aware that 2015 has started very well for the tourism sector, with increased visitor numbers from all our main markets. The statistics published today show that revenue from overseas visitors has also increased. This again confirms that the measures undertaken by the Government to boost Ireland’s attractiveness as a destination are working. In the first quarter of 2015 alone, our overseas visitors spent an estimated €590 million in Ireland, which is an enormous contribution to our economy and an increase of 10.5% on the corresponding period of 2014.  We are not resting on our laurels however, and Tourism Ireland has a strong marketing programme in place for the remainder of 2015 to ensure that this strong economic return is maintained’.


The figures confirm strong growth in the number of holiday trips taken by overseas visitors to Ireland, and an increase in visits to friends and relatives. In terms of the spend associated with overseas visits, all of Ireland’s main markets grew strongly in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014:


  • Revenue associated with visitors from Great Britain grew by 5.8%
  • Revenue associated with visits from North America grew by 16.8%
  • Revenue associated with visits from Mainland Europe grew by  17.5%


The figures are based on detailed surveys of overseas visitors and the CSO release also contains detailed information on expenditure, purpose of visit, and bednights.


The Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring added that: ‘We were already aware that the number of overseas visits from January to March increased by 14.1%. Today’s CSO statistics show the economic benefit that has resulted from these visits. In line with the visitor numbers, revenues are showing growth from all our major markets. This represents an important boost to the tourism sector. We must never forget that tourism delivers this economic benefit to a wide range of businesses and services in thousands of enterprises across every part of the country, making a valuable contribution to job creation and our continued economic development’.


Welcoming today’s positive figures, Fáilte Ireland CEO, Shaun Quinn, emphasised: ‘Tourism’s strong growth continues and, on current trends, we may be looking at a record year for overseas visitors in 2015. Tourism businesses around the country are certainly upbeat with eight out of ten of them telling us in Fáilte Ireland that they expect their business to grow this year’.


“Our key objective now will be to ensure we can sustain this growth. Whether it is through new exciting propositions such as the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East or via the latest innovations in digital and social media, Fáilte Ireland will be using every opportunity to maximise tourism growth and to ensure the sector delivers the additional revenue and jobs that it is more than capable of doing.”


Commenting on today’s figures, CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, said: ‘Today’s CSO figures represent an excellent start to the year – confirming that holidaymakers from overseas grew by +13% in the first quarter of 2015, with growth recorded from all of our market areas around the world. And, more importantly for the Irish economy, revenue from overseas holiday visitors grew by +12% during this period; an additional €24 million compared with the first three months of 2014. While it is still very early days, the first quarter represents about only 18% of total overseas business. This was a strong start to the year and reflects the sentiment we are hearing from our tourism partners overseas and here at home. It augurs well for the rest of the year. Our aim is to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism.”’



Press Office, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, 01 604 1090 / 01 604 1093 www.dttas.ie pressoffice@dttas.ie