American tourism to Ireland is holding up as other regions slump.

Figures from Ireland's Central Statistic Office show that the number of U.S. tourists to Ireland fell slightly (by 2.6 percent) while other markets slumped far more.

The numbers from America have been cited as encouraging especially considering the higher costs and weak dollar.

The number of American visitors fell by 2.6 percent (24,500) from 950,300 to 925,800.

In comparison, numbers from Britain, which is Ireland's main tourism market, fell by 16.1 percent (582,000) from 3.602 million to 3.02 million

Overall, there were 881,200 fewer visitors last year as tourist numbers dropped by 12 percent; from 7.3 million to 6.4 million.

 Trips to Ireland from mainland Europe declined by 9.3 per cent (227,000) from 2.427 million to 2.2 million.

The figures account for the months of January to November in 2009.


12th Hole Old Head Golf Links KinsaleEvan Schiller / Tourism Ireland