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Boom in visitors creates 5,000 new jobs in tourism

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Tourists braving the elements to see the Cliffs of Moher

Tourists braving the elements to see the Cliffs of Moher

Tourists braving the elements to see the Cliffs of Moher

Booming tourism created 5,000 new jobs this year with hopes of a further 8,000 in the coming year.

A new target has been set to increase visitor numbers by 400,000 to 7.7 million people in 2015.

Overseas tourists spent just over €3.5bn in Ireland this year, a 9pc increase, or almost €300m more compared to the previous year.

Irish airlines and ferry companies earned a further €1bn from tourists.

Proven

Irish people's spending on holidays and leisure at home also picked up with a 6pc increase to €1.5bn.

A further €300m was earned from visitors from Northern Ireland. Overseas visitors grew by 9pc to 7.3m, the highest number since 2008.

Visitor numbers from the United States, Germany, France, and Canada all showed record increases.

"Tourism has amply demonstrated its resilience, having weathered several difficult years and has proven its ability as an important indigenous export sector to deliver growth", said Paul Carty, chairman of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC).

"Tourism businesses currently are estimated to employ in excess of 200,000, with 5,000 having been added in the past year, and the prospect of a further 8,000 jobs being created in 2015," he said.

It was hard to imagine a more favourable set of circumstances for the successful growth of tourism during 2014.

These included increased air and sea services, falling prices of fuel, a stronger dollar and a stronger pound sterling, and good value for money, said Eamonn McKeon, ITIC chief executive.

Wild

The launch of the Wild Atlantic Way delivered more business all along the western seaboard.

ITIC looked forward to an early implementation of recommendations of the Destination Dublin report including the launch of a new brand identity for the capital city.

Mr Carty praised Government decisions regarding tax and called for sustained State spending to safeguard growth.

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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