AMERICAN visitors gave Ireland's tourist industry a much needed boost in the autumn.
Trips to Ireland increased by 4pc to 1.6 million in the period between September and November.
There was a particularly strong surge in visitors from the US with numbers up 20pc, mainly driven by the Notre Dame versus Navy American football match in Dublin.
However, the number of visitors from Britain, which remains Ireland's most important market, were down by 21,000 in the period September to November 2012.
And total visitor numbers to Ireland for the first 11 months of 2012 fell by 1,100 to 6.057 million compared to the same period of 2011, new Central Statistics Office figures show.