The data also show that spending in Ireland by overseas tourists was up €661 million or 18.6% last year according to figures released by the CSO.
Total overseas visitor numbers grew by almost 14%.
The figures also show that the number of trips to Ireland in the key target market of holidaymakers rose by 20.4%, while spending by holidaymakers was up 27.8% for 2015 when compared with 2014. This came from an additional 647,000 holiday visitors.
In terms of the spend associated with overseas visits, all of the main markets grew in 2015 compared to 2014 including:-
- Great Britain up by 9.7%
- North America up by 28%
- Mainland Europe up by 19.1%
- “Other” long-haul markets up by 14.7%
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring welcomed the CSO figures.
“Today’s figures confirm that 2015 was an exceptional year not just in terms of overseas visit numbers but also the associated revenue which totalled over €4.2 billion,” commented Minister Donohoe who indicated that a strong marketing campaign was already underway for 2016, “Of course this being St Patrick’s week, Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative is taking place across the world at a time when many people are planning their holidays, giving Ireland an unparalleled platform to encourage people to pay us a visit.”
By 2025 the minister hopes to see €5 billion spent in overseas tourism revenue (excluding air fares or ferry costs) and 250,000 jobs in the tourism sector which will be underpinned by 10 million overseas visits per year.