Commenting on the figures from the CSO for overseas visitors to Ireland for 2014, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “2014 was a strong year for Irish tourism, with today’s CSO figures confirming growth of +9% in overseas visitors, 620,000 additional visitors when compared with 2013. Given that overseas tourism business accounts for almost 60% of all tourism revenue, this is good news indeed, with the increase in visitor numbers from overseas helping to boost employment and the economic recovery around the country.
“In fact, 2014 was the best year ever for visitor numbers from North America (+15% compared to 2013), Germany (+15%), France (+5%) and Spain (+11%), as well as from our long-haul markets including Australia and New Zealand (almost +9%). And the all-important British market, the largest market for Irish tourism, also saw growth of +8% last year (235,000 additional visitors), which is very encouraging. Throughout 2014, Tourism Ireland undertook a packed programme of promotions, to bring Ireland to the attention of people around the world. Our overseas publicity campaigns brought positive messages about Ireland to potential visitors in our key markets; Tourism Ireland estimates that this international media exposure was worth an estimated €280 million in equivalent advertising value.”