– Gathering has played its part so far
Jim Higgins MEP for Ireland North West and Ireland’s Member of the European Parliament’s Tourism Committee has today welcomed new figures which show that 2.5 million visits were made to Ireland in the first five months of the year, which is an increase of 6.4% for 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.
“I very much welcome this news. Tourism is a labour intensive industry. It’s jobs are based in Ireland and cannot be outsourced to the far east for example. In addition, the benefit to the economy is immediate – there is no time delay between when a tourist spends money, and the knock-on effect this has on the economy,” said MEP Jim Higgins in Strasbourg.
MEP Higgins welcomed the news that Visits from Mainland Europe grew by 8.5% for January to May 2013. “This clearly shows that mainland Europe is a huge potential market for Ireland.”
“Tourism is an industry which is essential in the most remote parts of Ireland where there is little other industry. I am seeking a breakdown from the CSO and the Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar to see which areas are doing best. I have no doubt however, the Minister Varadkar’s Gathering initiative has had no small part to play in terms of boosting tourism figures this year” concluded Jim Higgins MEP.
Visits from Mainland Europe grew by 8.5% for January to May 2013, to 917,300 visits and by 9.6% between March and May (676,000 visits). In this 3-month period, we witnessed particularly strong performances from France (+26.3%) and Benelux (+11.0%), followed by Germany (+6.1%), the Nordic countries (+6.0%) and Spain (+5.4%);
Elsewhere, North America registered an increase of 12.8% for January – May 2013 with 369,100 visits and of 12.6% in March – May 2013 (282,300);
Visits from Great Britain were up by 2.8% for January – May 2013 (1,069,900) and by an encouraging 5.6% for the three months from March to May 2013 (726,300 visits); and
Visits from the rest of the world, mostly long-haul and developing markets, totalled 132,200 for the first five months of 2013 (+4.9%) and 87,000 for the three months from March to May alone (+3.2%) – within these markets, comparing March – May 2013 to the same three months in 2012, Australia and New Zealand grew by an impressive 12.1%.
For the three-month period from March to May 2013, overseas trips to Ireland increased by 8.1% to 1.77 million trips.