Figures show a record August for tourist numbers

Figures show a record August for tourist numbers
North America leads growth in visitor numbers. Pic: RollingNews.ie

Delta's new Boston service gives transatlantic market another boost

Tourism Ireland has said official figures released this morning indicate that last month was the best August on record for Irish tourism, with more than 1.125 million arrivals recorded

The Central Statistics Office said there were just over three million trips to Ireland in the three months from June to the end of August, an increase of 10.8 per cent or 300,300 compared with the same period last year. This was also the first time a three-month figure topped the three million mark.

Visits by British residents increased by 10.5 per cent to 1.13 million, while trips by residents of other European countries rose by 10.8 per cent to just over one million. Trips by residents of North America to Ireland increased by 13.2 per cent to 667,600 while visits from other areas were up 4.7 per cent to 191,700.

In the eight months to the end of August, the total number of trips to Ireland increased by 12.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2015 to 6.55 million.

Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons described the results from North America for January to August – up 15.4 per cent on the same period in 2015 – as "exceptional". He also welcomed the 13.4 per cent rise in British visitors, adding that there had also been good growth from important markets like Italy, Spain, France and the Benelux countries.

The figures came as Delta Air Lines provided another potential boost to Ireland-US travel by announcing the launch of a new service between Boston and Dublin next year.

Dublin Airport welcomed the announcement of the new service, which will operate daily from May until October. Delta’s already operates routes from Dublin to New York-JFK and Atlanta.

“We will be offering almost 13,000 weekly seats between Ireland and the United Sates for the summer 2017 season,” said Dwight James, Delta’s senior vice president transatlantic. He said Dublin was the fastest-growing EU city in terms of US visitor numbers since 2011, with an increase of 9 per cent a year.

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