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Overseas visitors to Ireland top 10 million for the first time

Overseas visitors to Ireland top 10 million for the first time

CSO just released their tourism data for 2018. This shows:

  • Overseas visits to Ireland increased to 10,616,300 trips, up 6.9% on 2017 – the first time there have been over 10m overseas visitors;

  • Mainland Europe visits increased 9.5% to 3.8m trips – making it now the #1 source market for Ireland, with Germany +20% and Italy +13%;

  • British visits increased 0.8% to 3.76m trips;

  • North America visits increased 13.4% to 2.4m.


The 6.9% growth for overseas visitors to Ireland exceeds the 6% increase in overseas visitors to Europe as a whole (UNWTO World Tourism Barometer). However, the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation highlight risks to overall growth in 2019 due to potential negative impacts of Brexit, the increase in VAT from 9 to 13.5%, and declining competitiveness due to increasing costs such as wages.


FAC has been particularly active in the tourism strategy and planning space in recent years, reaffirmed with the appointment of one of Ireland’s leading tourism planners, James Chilton in early 2018. Notable projects for FAC include a Destination Study for the National Trust in Northern Ireland, the Limerick Tourism Strategy and the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Tourism Strategy, with ongoing coordination of significant hotel development schemes and larger tourism development projects. FAC have recently provided evidence-led and compelling socio-economic reports to guide proposed developments and to support transformational funding applications.


FAC take pride in a deep awareness of emerging best practice and trends in tourism and leisure development. Our unique combination of a thorough understanding of tourism and leisure planning, underpinned by our data and market research teams, mean we have the skills and experience to deliver tourism solutions that drive positive change.