Ireland’s total incoming tourist numbers rise 7.9%
Ireland saw strong growth in tourist numbers from mainland Europe last year, the country’s Central Statistics Office says, with visits from there up 11.4%. The overall number of tourists visiting Ireland increased by 7.9%, with visitors from North America up 8.1% and from developing markets up 15.1%. Traffic from Britain was below average but also showed an increase, at 4.4%.
A total of 6.6 million visits to Ireland by overseas residents were recorded in 2011 – an increase of half a million on the previous year. The number of overnights by foreign travellers also rose, by 6.1%, to 50.9 million during the year. Hotel bed nights were up 13%, while stays with friends and relatives fell. However, incoming tourism numbers for 2011 were lower than 2009, when 6.9 million people visited.
[pictured: Cliffs of Moher; courtesy Tourism Ireland]