Visitor numbers to Ireland continue to rise in Q2
The number of visitors to Ireland between April and June 2016 increased by 10.8 per cent when compared with the same period last year, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The latest data on overseas travel shows that people continue to see Ireland as an attractive destination, with 254,000 more people visiting the Ireland in the second quarter of the year than in 2015. The number of visitors from Great Britain, the rest of Europe and North America all increased by 14.4 per cent, 9.1 per cent and 11.1 per cent, respectively.
The UK continues to provide the greatest number of visitors, with 39 per cent of all trips to Ireland during this period coming from Britain. The US and Canada make up the second-largest proportion of visitors, with just over 520,000 people making the trip across the Atlantic.
More than 100,000 guests from each of Germany, France and Spain came to Ireland between April and June this year – the first time this has happened.
Guinness factory still No 1 despite Brexit vote damage
However, Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction – the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin – has suffered a drop in the number of visitors from the UK following the Brexit vote.
It has been reported that the figures have fallen by 12 per cent since the EU referendum, with market sources attributing the decline to the depressed sterling.
Just under 1.5 million people visited the Guinness Storehouse last year, including a record 10,000 on March 18, with almost a third travelling from the United Kingdom.
But the sensitivity to foreign exchange rates and a slowdown in surplus spending has caused a marked slowdown in traffic.
A spokeswoman for the Guinness Storehouse said: “Visitor figures to the Storehouse do fluctuate, reflecting, among other things, exchange rates and seasonal travel habits.”
Fáilte Ireland released figures earlier this week which revealed the top fee-paying attractions across the country.
The Guinness Storehouse retained the number one spot, welcoming 1,498,124 visitors – an 18 per cent increase on 2014. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience took second place following a 16 per cent increase in visitor numbers, while Dublin Zoo completed the top three.
In terms of ‘free to enter’ attractions, the National Gallery of Ireland led the way with almost 720,000 coming through its doors, followed by the National Botanic Gardens and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.