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24.06.2015

HOTELIERS WELCOME STRONG GROWTH IN OVERSEAS VISITORS

Overseas Visitor Numbers up 12% during first five months of 2015

 

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) welcomes the strong growth in overseas visitors to Ireland announced today (link to CSO figures). Visitor numbers are up 13.4% for the period March – May 2015 and up 12% overall for the first five months of the year.

 

Tim Fenn, Chief Executive of the IHF states that the increase in visitors has provided a very welcome boost to Irish tourism, building on last year’s performance. With the summer season under way, the outlook for the industry is very positive, contributing to increased optimism across the hotel and guesthouse sector.

 

“Growth in visitor numbers is particularly visible in our North American market, which is up 17% between March and May and up almost 14% so far this year. Many of these visitors are high-spending tourists who travel around the country during their stay, delivering a boost to local economies,” says Mr Fenn. “We are also seeing significant growth from Britain and the rest of Europe – which are vital overseas markets for Irish tourism. This growth is of enormous importance for the country considering the contribution tourism makes to the wider economy by supporting 205,000 jobs and almost 4 per cent of gross national product.”

 

Mr Fenn states that the upturn in overseas tourism has been underpinned by highly effective marketing initiatives from Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland as well as a number of pro-tourism initiatives from the Government that continue to assist in attracting overseas visitors.

 

“Irish tourism is achieving strong cut through on the marketing front and this is helping to reinvigorate our tourism brand and image as a holiday destination,” says Mr Fenn. “We have also made significant progress in developing our tourism product and giving holidaymakers new and exciting reasons to visit our shores. Examples include the Wild Atlantic Way, which is proving to be an enormous draw, and the recently launched Ancient East trail. Targeted investment in initiatives such as these is vital to the long-term success of our tourism product.”

 

Mr Fenn notes that hotels and guesthouses are also seeing increased business from the domestic market with more Irish people taking holidays and short breaks at home. This is very important for regional tourism and provides a boost for tourism businesses that rely on the home market, particularly outside of the larger urban areas and traditional tourism hotspots.

 

 

-ENDS-

 

FOR INFORMATION:

Eoin Quinn/Barry Ryan                                                 Dublin office: 01 6798600    

Weber Shandwick                                                          Mobile: 087 2332 191 / 085 7287 326             

 

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