British tourist decline continues

We welcomed 7.66 million overseas visitors from January to September this year, up by nearly 3% according to the latest CSO figures. But while the latest July to September Quarter shows a rise of 1.1% in overall visitors, the decline in visitors from Britain continues with a drop of 7.3% compared to the same quarter in 2016.

The drop in British tourists now amounts to 6.7% over the first three quarters of the year.

Tourism represents the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, responsible for over 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing over 280,000 people across the island.

The overall visitor number increase represents 216,000 additional visitors on the same nine-month period last year, pointed out Tourism Ireland’s Chief Executive Niall Gibbons.

“The decline in visitor numbers from Britain continues to be a real concern,” he commented recently, “The fall in the value of Sterling has made holidays and short breaks here more expensive for British visitors and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top markets.

“This year, Tourism Ireland has placed a greater focus on our ‘culturally curious’ audience who’re less impacted by currency fluctuations. However competitiveness and the value-for-money message are more important than ever in Britain right now.”
Arrivals from Mainland Europe grew 3.5%. Key factors here have been increases in direct air access plus Tourism Ireland’s market diversification strategy, he added.

In 2016 we welcomed approximately 10.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.3 billion.

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