Ireland sees decline in British visitor numbers

Overseas visitor numbers to Ireland rose by 2.5% to 6.7 million over the period of January to August this year according to latest official figures.

Tourism Ireland’s Situation & Outlook Analysis Report reveals that it was a record period for all main market areas, with the exception of Great Britain which has seen a decline of more than 190,000 arrivals when compared with the same period in 2016.

North America and other long-haul markets continue to perform exceptionally well, with North America up 18% for the eight-month period to August; Australia and Developing Markets up 17%; and Mainland Europe up 3%.

The story is different in Northern Ireland, where significant increases in holidaymakers were recorded from Great Britain (+23%).

Overall, industry sentiment across the island of Ireland and from overseas trade partners remains positive, the reports says. Business is generally strong and intelligence suggests that bookings and performance are generally on a par with, or slightly ahead of, last year.

However, sources also continue to report a slowdown from the British market and declines from some European markets.

Competitiveness challenges as a result of accommodation capacity constraints in the main tourism centres, and the impact of Brexit on exchange rates, remain the key concerns for industry and trade partners.