Business Irish

Monday 19 March 2018

Tourist spending up 16pc as eight million visit Ireland

Tourists on the Skellig Islands, off the coast of Co Kerry. Photo: @storytravelers
Tourists on the Skellig Islands, off the coast of Co Kerry. Photo: @storytravelers

Sean Duffy

Tourists spent €6bn visiting Ireland last year - a rise of 16pc on 2014, latest figures reveal.

And tourist visits to Ireland grew by 13.1pc to eight million, according to the latest data from Fáilte Ireland.

It said that the €6bn spend included the price travellers paid to Irish airlines and ferry carriers.

Ireland's dependency on British visitors was highlighted by the fact that the UK contributed the largest amount of tourists coming here, accounting for 42pc of overall arrivals.

In total, 3.3 million people came here from Britain last year.

Inbound traffic from North America was up by 12.9pc on the 2014 figure, while other long haul arrivals were up by 11.7pc.

Tourists from mainland Europe were the biggest spenders, totalling €1.6bn over the course of their trips.

This represented 36pc of the overall amount spent by foreign tourists.

There were over 600,000 German visitors, 471,000 from France and 322,000 from Spain.

North American tourists accounted for 1.1 million of the overall total.

Fáilte Ireland said that 205,000 people are employed in the tourism sector, which the organisation says takes into account part-time and seasonal work. But this figure is significantly higher than the CSO estimate, which states that 139,900 people are employed in the sector.

Irish Independent

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