Ireland seeing fewer British and American tourists
THE NUMBER OF people taking trips to Ireland from overseas declined over the summer months.
Between May and June this year, Ireland saw 2.2 per cent fewer visits when compared with 2011 figures. According tonew data from the Central Statistics Office, 1.94 million trips to Ireland by foreign tourists were recorded. That is an overall decrease of 43,000.
The fall comes as fewer residents than usual from Great Britain and the US travel to Ireland. The number of British people holidaying in Ireland fell by 6.8 per cent to 746,200, while the number of visitors from North American dropped by 3.3 per cent to 347,600.
However, there was some positive news for the tourism industry as visitors from European countries outside the UK and ‘Other Areas’ rose by 2.1 per cent to 723,600 and 7.6 per cent to 120,400 respectively.
In the first seven months of the year, there were over 3.68 million trips to Ireland made and the sector is more positive about its prospects for August and September. “There is still everything to play for this year,” said Leo Varadkar, adding that he was confident Ireland could “turn things around”, especially with the number of festivals and events – including this weekend’s Emerald Isle Classic American Football match – yet to have a positive impact.
Commenting further on the statistics, the Tourism Minister warned that more work is needed to build on 2011′s successful tourism season.