Tourist targets met years early

Business & Tourism

The Government is to revise upwards it projections for visitor numbers and revenue after its previous targets were reached an astonishing seven years early.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, and with the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin TD, have now adopted increased performance targets for tourism in Ireland.

The Government's tourism policy was launched in 2015 and it aimed to bring in overseas revenue of €5 billion ( in real terms i.e excluding the effects of inflation) by 2025 - together with 10 million overseas visitors - creating employment of 250,000 in the sector.

the strong performance in the sector in recent years has resulted in these targets being achieved well ahead of schedule in 2018.

Kerry TD and Minister for Tourism Brendan Griffin said it was excellent news for the tourism sector and the wider economy.

"It is timely that we are setting new targets now. We have seen huge growth in the sector in recent years and it is useful to take stock of where we are now and where we want to go," he said.

"Tourism is a vital indigenous economic sector and continued growth will help to sustain communities right across Ireland, particularly in rural areas. It is true that there are some challenges out there, not least Brexit. However, I am sure that the sector will overcome these as it has in the past and, allowing for short-term variation, the overall trend will remain positive," said Minister Griffin.

The new Government targets now envisage revenue from overseas tourists, excluding carrier receipts, will increase to €6.5 billion in real terms by 2025, up from €5.2 billion in 2018.

It is also hoped that employment in the tourism sector will reach 310,000 by 2025, compared to around 260,000 in 2018.

The new targets are based on 11.6 million tourists visiting Ireland annually by 2025, the figure in 2018 was 9.5 million.