Tourism making valuable contribution to the economy as €3.5bn spent by overseas visitors in 2014 – Donohoe  

12th March, 2015

Increase of €286m or +8.8% in spending for 2014 compared to 2013


Figures published today (Thursday) by the CSO confirmed the trend indicated by earlier statistics that the revenue accruing to the Irish economy from overseas visitors continued to grow in 2014. Today’s data shows that in 2014 €3.5 billion was spent by overseas visitors in Ireland.


Speaking this afternoon, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, said: ‘I welcome today’s CSO ‘Tourism and Travel’ publication, which shows an increase of €286 million, or +8.8%, in spending from overseas visits to Ireland for 2014 compared to 2013’.


“The tourism sector is playing a critical part in our economic recovery. To support the sector, the Government 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 the coming weeks will see the publication of our new Tourism Policy; ‘People, Place and Policy – Growing Tourism to 2025’, which sets ambitious but realistic targets for the decade ahead in terms of growing overseas revenue, the numbers employed in the tourism sector and visitor numbers.”


Today’s figures from the CSO also show that when compared to 2013, there was a 4.5% increase in revenue from visits from Great Britain, a 5.9% increase from Mainland Europe, a 13.7% increase from North America and a 17.3% increase in revenue from long-haul destinations. In terms of the reason for visiting Ireland, the revenue accruing from the key target ‘holidaymaker’ segment showed an increase of 8.1% compared to 2013.


Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, said: ‘I am pleased to see today’s confirmation from the CSO that the tourism sector continues to contribute to our economic recovery. The Government and the tourism industry will continue to work hard to maintain this positive momentum and crucially to maintain our competitiveness. We continue to invest in our tourism sector and just last week I announced funding of €564,000 for 187 local festivals and events across Ireland aimed at further boosting tourism activity in 2015’.


Commenting on the CSO figures, Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘Today’s CSO figures are very strong, confirming that, where purpose of visit is concerned, holidaymakers from overseas grew by +8% in 2014. I am pleased to see an increase in holiday visitors from the important Great Britain and North American markets, with growth of +9% and +13% respectively. Mainland Europe also performed strongly, with a +7% increase in holidaymakers, driven largely by +17% growth in German holidaymakers. And, more importantly for the Irish economy, revenue from our overseas tourists grew by +9% in 2014, an additional €280 million compared with 2013’.


“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. We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. We will be pulling out all the stops in 2015, to keep the momentum going and ensure that this is the best year ever for Irish tourism, when we aim to welcome 7.74 million visitors, delivering almost €4 billion in overseas tourism revenue to the Irish economy, surpassing the previous record year of 2007.”


Meanwhile, Shaun Quinn, Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland said: ‘Today’s figures confirm that 2014 was a fantastic year for tourism with the trend towards growth deepening, following a very successful ‘Gathering’ year in 2013. The increase in both numbers and revenue from overseas is extremely important and is delivering the additional revenue and jobs which this country needs, particularly in many parts of rural Ireland.


“The performance of all our key international markets is encouraging with the strong growth from North America and the UK being particularly helpful. This is a trend which we are confident will continue into 2015, buoyed up by the relative weakness of the euro to the dollar and sterling. In the meantime, Fáilte Ireland will be using every opportunity we can identify to maximise further tourism growth and to ensure the sector delivers on the potential we believe exists for more increases in revenue and employment’.



Press Office, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, 01 604 1090 / 01 604 1093