2018 | A Record Year for Irish Tourism
2018 has been a record year for overseas tourism to Ireland, according to CSO figures and Tourism Ireland, with revenue generated by international visitors around €6.1 billion, delivered by about 11.2 million visitors.
This is a 10 per cent increase on the previous year. Growth came from all main markets around the world – with high numbers arriving from North America, Mainland Europe and Australia. Tourism Ireland reflected on the highlights of 2018 tourism today on their site.
Some of these included the marketing body’s promotional activity across the globe, including their various campaigns for regions like Dublin and Belfast, capitalisation on Star Wars tourism and annual Global Greening initiative on St Patrick’s Day. In regards the latter, over 300 landmarks world wide turned green for the occasion – making the event bigger than ever.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, said in a statement: “2018 looks set to be another record year for overseas tourism to Ireland. The latest CSO figures indicate the number of overseas visitors to our shores continues to grow, as does the revenue generated by them. The tourism sector supports approximately 260,000 jobs in communities all across the country. Therefore its importance cannot be overstated.”
“Revenue generated by tourism reaches all parts of the country, bringing much needed jobs and income to areas with otherwise limited economic activity. Our focus going forward is to ensure that we continue to grow in a sustainable way and to further build on this success.”
Griffin also said The Tourism Action Plan 2019 to 2021, which is due to be published by the minister’s department shortly, will outline key actions which will underpin the continued growth of the sector, This will build upon the additional funding secured for the sector in Budget 2019.
Last month, Tourism Ireland launched its marketing plans to promote Ireland in 2019, with a target to grow overseas tourism revenue by 6 per cent, to €6.5 billion for the economies north and south, next year. Tourism Ireland’s new global campaign – ‘Fill your Heart with Ireland’ – will begin over the coming week in the United States, Britain, France and Germany.
From January 2019, ‘Fill Your Heart…’ will be rolled out in over 20 markets around the globe. The campaign will include TV, cinema, print, outdoor and online ads, as well as content for social platforms. It will feature less visited attractions and locations and aims to attract visitors all year round.
“Our new campaign presents a great opportunity to drive continued growth to the regions next year and to encourage visitors to travel off-peak,” said Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons. “It will feature locations that have been less visited by overseas visitors and will also highlight outdoor activities like cycling, walking and kayaking. We are confident that our new campaign will set Ireland apart from our competitor destinations and help deliver another record year for overseas tourism in 2019.”