The number of tourists visiting Ireland has increased more than 15 percent in the second quarter in comparison to last year’s figures for the same period, proving that Queen Elizabeth and U.S. President Barack Obama’s visits to Ireland bolstered tourism in the country.

The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that almost 1.8 million people visited Ireland from April to June of this year, representing an eight percent increase in tourists visiting from the UK.

The number of tourists visiting from North America increased by 17 percent to 308, 800.
Queen Elizabeth made her historic visit to Ireland in May for seven days. The following week, on May 23 President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama made their inaugural trip to Ireland. The two official state visits triggered worldwide media coverage.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said they figures were encouraging.
"Anecdotal reports from our industry partners around ... Ireland confirm a more positive picture overall than this time last year," he said.

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"However, we know that distribution of visitors is uneven, with some areas performing better than others. The current outlook for North America, mainland Europe and emerging markets is positive for the coming months.

"The economic situation in Britain remains fragile and we are keeping the market under close review."

Minister of State for Tourism Michael Ring said the number of Irish residents who have  been holidaying at home shows that people are “rediscovering what makes Ireland special as a place to go on holiday”.