Irish tourism has grown in 2018, reveals Ireland's CSO

Irish tourism has enjoyed a bump in visits in 2018 as compared to 2017, according to recently released data from Ireland's Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The CSO reported on Friday that visits to Ireland from overseas visitors grew a healthy 7.6% in August 2018.

Read More: Nearly 5 million people visited Ireland during the first half of 2018

That works out to a total of 1,202,100 trips to Ireland by overseas residents in August, which is an increase of 84,500 visits when compared to the same month last year.

Between January and August 2018, there were a total of 7.23 million overseas visitors, an increase of 520,600, or 7.8%, when compared to the first eight months of 2017.

Most overseas visitors coming to Ireland come from Great Britain; British tourists account for 2.54 million of the visits made to Ireland in the first eight months of 2018.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said "This was the best ever month of August for Irish tourism, with more than 1.2 million arrivals.”

Half a million more tourists visited Ireland this year compared to 2017

— Tourism Ireland (@TourismIreland) September 27, 2018

"Particularly welcome in today’s figures is the continued strong performance from North America, with an increase of +13.2%.”

"A number of factors are working in our favour, including more airline seats than ever before, from more gateways across the US and Canada.

"We’ve also seen excellent results from Mainland Europe, up +10.5% on January-August last year, with particularly strong performances from Germany (+21%) and Italy (+13.4%)."

"While we welcome the fact that arrivals from Britain are up almost +2.5%, it’s too early to say if this represents a turnaround in the long-term trend.”

Gibbons added that “The impact of Brexit on outbound travel from Britain, therefore, remains a concern.”

"We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues,” said Gibbons. “Our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue in 2018 to €6 billion, for the island of Ireland.”

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Paul Kelly, CEO at Fáilte Ireland, said Irish tourism had a “record summer.”

“Government supports for tourism, including a competitive VAT rate, have allowed Ireland to compete overseas for visitors, and significant investment from ourselves at Fáilte Ireland in tourism experiences on the ground has created many compelling reasons for people to come here.”

"The foremost challenge in the near-term is Brexit - sentiment across the industry is already starting to soften and there is real concern in many parts of the country about its potential impact on business. There are also many tourism businesses, particularly in rural Ireland, still operating on very tight margins and facing cost inflation pressures on insurance and wages," said Kelly.

Have you visited Ireland in 2018? Share your experience in the comments!