Visits to Ireland becoming increasingly popular

Figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and sourced by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) have shown that Ireland has been getting a steady increase in foreign visitors for the period spanning 2010 to 2017.

The overall figure has risen from just over 6 million people in 2010 to 9.9 million in 2017, a rise of over 35%. Unsurprisingly, Great Britain sent the most visitors to Ireland over this period with more than 25.5 million people visiting our shores in the eight year period. Conversely, 20 countries from Africa produced only 348,500 people travelling to the country.

However, it’s when you look at the figures on a year by year basis that you begin to see the trend of the number of visitors rising every year bar a few exceptions. Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, The USA, Canada and Asia (includes 50 countries) all had increases every year without fail.  

Figures show a steady increase of visitors to the country in the last few years // Central Statistics Office

While some countries and areas had annual decreases here and there, not a single one had lower figures for visitors in 2017 compared to 2010. Again, as you would expect, the majority of visitors were from Europe, but outside of that, the USA dominated with more visitors than Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Other Oceania (31 countries), Africa, Central and South America, Mexico and Asia combined.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, commented on Ireland’s increased number of visitors for 2018 by saying: “Particularly welcome in today’s figures is the continued strong performance from North America, with an increase of 12.9%. A number of factors are working in our favour, including more airline seats than ever before, from more gateways across the US and Canada.


“We’ve also seen excellent results from Mainland Europe, up 10% on January-September last year, with particularly strong performances from Germany (+20.9%) and Italy (+11.8%). While we welcome the fact that arrivals from Britain are up 1.1%, it is not yet clear if this represents a turnaround in the long-term trend. The impact of Brexit on outbound travel from Britain remains a concern.”

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