11 December 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
2015 is now on course to be a record year for both visit numbers to Ireland and for the associated expenditure.
New figures from the Central Statistics Office this week show that spending in Ireland by overseas visitors for the first nine months of this year rose by 17.5%, compared with the corresponding period of 2014.
Those visitors from abroad spent over €3.3 billion, which is a very significant contribution to the Irish economy and it benefits every part of the country, including the Cork region.
The figures published in the CSO’s Tourism and Travel statistics show the number of trips in Tourism Ireland’s key target markets rose by 19.6% over the first nine months this year,that is more than half a million additional holiday visitors. Great Britain increased by 9.2%, North America by 27.1 %; Europe by 18.5%
Competitiveness and value will continue to be vitally important if visitor numbers are to grow further and we must make sure that value is maintained, and that the visitor experience is as attractive as possible.
2015 has been the year that tourism bounced back, and is contributing to our economic recovery. This year’s growth is only the beginning as Fáilte Ireland initiatives, such as the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East, both of them helping to attract visitors to the Cork region are only just beginning to take effect.