More than seven million tourists this year generated €4bn in economic spin-offs in the best year for Irish tourism in five years, a conference will hear today.
The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) is to unveil its year end review in a conference in Dublin this morning.
However the findings released so far are extremely encouraging and augur well for the future, according to ITIC Chairman Paul Carty who credited The Gathering initiative for attracting large numbers of overseas visitors.
British visitors took the lead with 2.9 visiting our shores - the biggest increase in five years - followed by 2.5 million visitors from Continental Europe and more than 1 million North American visitors as well as 400,000 from elsewhere.
Statistics to be released today also reveal that tourists spent more money and stayed longer.
Closer to home, Irish tourists also took more “staycations” in 2013 than previously, although the number of people taking short breaks at home has not increased as much as overseas visits.
But overall, the figures are very encouraging Mr Carty said.
“Not only did we see a very welcome increase in tourism earnings and numbers, but significant progress was made in setting up conditions for the continued expansion of the sector,” he said.