Ireland’s Central Statistics Office’s findings show an increase of 13.6 percent, to 415,000 visitors from North America traveling to Irish shores. The new statistics show that overall trips to Ireland have increased by 7.8 percent this summer, when compared to the same season in 2012.

The total number of trips to Ireland increased by 6.4 percent for the period January -
September 2013 when compared with the same period in 2012.

Trips by residents of European countries, other than Great Britain, increased by 1.2 percent to 786,200 while trips to Ireland from other areas increased by 24.5 percent to 155,000. Trips by residents of Great Britain increased by 9.0 percent to 904,700.

This major boost in tourism is likely due to the Gathering tourism inititive which invited Ireland’s Diaspora to visit their home country during 2013. In August of this year figures showed that the number of American tourists traveling to Ireland had increased by 20.5 percent – something Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons calls “a record performance for that market.”

Figures released by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) for the three month period of May through July showed that the number of North American visitors to Ireland was 418,700, an increase of 20.5 percent over the same period in 2012. Overall, trips to Ireland were up 7.6 percent, to 2,084,600, with residents of Britain slightly edging out the residents of other European countries, with tourism numbers of 770,800 to 760,400 respectively.

Speaking to our sister publication, the Irish Voice, earlier this year the Gathering chairman Tim O’Connor said Ireland has “demonstrated for sure that there is something very powerful in the bond that connects the global Irish family.

He continued “We have brought out in a new way the centrality of the home place, which is Ireland itself. We have to understand how important that is.

“It began as a government initiative but it became a people’s project,” O’Connor said.

“The Irish people took it over and they were the biggest part of its success.”