25 July 2016
By David O’Sullivan
Dara Murphy, Fine Gael TD for Cork North Central and Minister for European Affairs, says the latest Failte Ireland figures on tourism, show that tourists from mainland Europe were the biggest contributors to Ireland’s travel & tourism industry, spending €1.6 billion over the duration of their holidays, while overall tourism spending grew by 16 per cent on 2014 to €6 billion, helping to boost local jobs across Cork hotels, restaurants and local visitor attractions, such as, Blarney Castle.
Commenting on the latest Failte Ireland report, Minister Murphy said: “The Failte Ireland results are very encouraging, as the figures demonstrate the high spending value of our European neighbours to the local economy, including robust visitors numbers traveling to Ireland from Germany at 600,000, 471,000 French tourists and 322,000 visitors from Spain. Clearly there is further growth potential to attract more high spending tourists from these traditional European states, particularly in this period of macroeconomic uncertainty created by the Bre-exit referendum and Britain’s stated intention to leave the European Union at some point in the future. However the U.K is still our largest market, accounting for 42 per cent of overseas visitors, and with 3.3 million inbound visitors travelling from Britain last year.”
“The Failte Ireland report also shows that 205,000 people are now employed in the tourism sector, both in full-time and seasonal work, and with every one new tourism job supporting five additional jobs in the wider macro economy, the hospitality and tourism sector continues to play a major part in Ireland’s economic growth. Tourism is flourishing in Cork, with Cobh becoming the leading Irish Port destination for some of the largest Cruise liners in the world, while the increased European visitor spending is creating more local jobs from hotels and coach tours in Blarney to new bakeries and artisan food start ups in the Old English Market.”