Sunday 25 August 2019

Record numbers visit Ireland, but fewer from UK in June

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Shawn Pogatchnik

The number of worldwide visitors to Ireland keeps growing, led by North American tourists, but arrivals from Britain declined last month, new CSO figures show.

Yesterday's report from the Central Statistics Office shows travel volume to Ireland reaching record high levels, with more than 5 million people landing in Ireland in the first six months of the year, 3.6pc more than a year ago.

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Traffic from the United States and Canada led the way, rising 9.1pc both in June and for the first six months of 2019. North American arrivals exceeded 300,000 in June and 1.1m for the first six months - both record highs for those periods. The traffic is being driven, in part, by increased transatlantic air connections and the relative strength of the US dollar to the euro.

The UK remains the top country of origin for our visitors, with nearly 1.8m coming to Ireland in the January-June period, a 0.45pc hike on the first half of 2018.

But in June, traffic from Britain fell by 1.1pc to 311,700.

That was more than offset by a 1.8pc rise in visitors from the rest of Europe to 372,800. The biggest EU tourist groups came from Germany (88,500), France (50,500), Spain (40,700) and Italy (28,700).

Irish travellers appear to be getting an early start to summer holidays, too, as the number of trips abroad from Ireland hit 892,600 - a record high for June, up 16.5pc from May and 1.6pc from June 2018.

Between January and June, Irish residents made more than 4.1m trips abroad - 7.4pc more than this time a year ago.

Record numbers visit Ireland, but fewer from UK in June

Irish Independent

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