Official figures from the Central Statistics Office in Ireland are showing that July was a record year for Irish tourism, with visitor numbers up almost 13 percent so far this year.
Tourism Ireland predicted that 2016 would be one for the books with thanks to the success of Game of Thrones and Star Wars. As promised, the number of visitors to the Emerald Isle is soaring. This year saw the best month of July and the best January to July period for Irish tourism ever, according to the Irish marketing body.
Between April and July, CSO figures are showing an incredible 2.84 million trips to Ireland, a leap of 10 percent from the same three-month period in 2015. A look back at the year up until the end of July is even more impressive, showing a 12.7 percent increase.
There have been increases across the board from all regions of the world, with an eight percent rise in trips from Britain in particular, reaching just over one million. Visits from other European countries also tipped just over the million mark, an even greater ten percent increase in numbers from 2015.
It’s North Americans who are increasing their number of trips to Ireland the most, however, with an incredible 13.3 percent increase in those who traveled in 2016. Although still far from a million, that meant a healthy 635,600 trips recorded.
Trips from other regions in the world may have numbered at just 170,700, but this still brought a 3.8 percent increase on last year’s figures.
The total number of trips to Ireland in the seven months from January to July-end 2016 stands at 5.43 million.
“Today’s figures indicate that this was the best ever month of July for Irish tourism, with more than 1 million arrivals recorded. It was also the best January to July period for overseas visitors to Ireland, with more than 5.4 million arrivals, representing an increase of almost +13% – 612,400 additional overseas visitors when compared with the first seven months of 2015,” said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.
“Our aim is to ensure that 2016 is another record-breaking year for Irish tourism.
“We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues. Next week, we will launch our extensive autumn campaign – aimed at boosting late-season travel to Ireland from around the globe and keeping this momentum going. The period September to December traditionally yields as much as 30% of our annual overseas tourism business,” Gibbons added.
Irish residents have also branched out on their own trips more often this year with trips to other countries increasing by 3.7 per cent to 2.25 million.
Tourism is extremely important to Ireland as the island’s largest indigenous industry. It is responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
In 2015, the country welcomed more than 8.6 million overseas visitors to Ireland, delivering revenue of about $4.7 billion (€4.2 billion).
Did you visit Ireland during summer 2016? Tell us about your vacation in the comments section, below.