State visits boost Irish tourism sector
The number of visitors coming to Irish shores has increased in the three month period between April and June of this year, up over 15% on this period in 2010.
This is being attributed to the high profile state visits to Ireland by US President Barack Obama and the historic milestone stay of Queen Elizabeth II.
The number of tourists coming to Ireland has been falling in the past number of years, largely due to inflated prices and the well-publicised economic crisis the country has endured.
However, latest figures show that almost 1.8 million people came to Ireland on holidays in the second quarter of 2011, with a big increase in the number of English tourists crossing the Irish Sea to us which is up 8%.
“Anecdotal reports from our industry partners around … Ireland confirm a more positive picture overall than this time last year,” according to Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.
“However, we know that distribution of visitors is uneven, with some areas performing better than others. The current outlook for North America, mainland Europe and emerging markets is positive for the coming months.”
The Irish tourist industry has 200,000 employees across the various sectors and is our largest domestic industry (4% economic output p.a.) and has slashed sales tax in hotels, cafes and restaurants to further incentivise trips to Ireland.
This is yet another sign of Ireland’s recovery and a positive step forward in the rebuilding of this country. Now Mr. Obama’s words are needed more than ever: Is Feidir Linn!