Central Statistics Office figures for September to November 2012 showed growth in visitor numbers of 3.9% at the end of 2012. Visitors from North America were up 19.7% and positive coverage for the Gathering 2013 is expected to help fill the expected 20% extra capacity on transatlantic flights into Ireland this summer. The total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents during the period September – November 2012 increased by 4.0% to 1,564,800.
The incoming figures showed strong growth of 5.8% from mainland Europe compared to 2011, a 7.9% increase in visitors from long-haul markets, and a 19.7% increase in visitor numbers from the USA. Overall, visitor numbers for the year to November matched those for 2011. Although the British market continued to underperform, the rate of decline in visit numbers continued to slow in November.
Stand-out markets in the three months from September to November 2012 included the USA and Canada (+19.7%), Germany (+12%), Scandinavia (+10.6%) and Spain (+7.7%).
Comparing the three-month period September – November 2012 with the same period in 2011:
- Overall trips to Ireland were up by 3.9%
- Visits from Mainland Europe were up by 5.8%, with Germany (+12%), Scandinavia (+10.6%), Spain (+7.7%) and non-traditional European markets (+8.6%) performing particularly well
- North America was up 19.7%
- Britain registered a decline of 3% in visits
- Visits from the rest of the world increased by 7.9%, with Australia and New Zealand growing by 18.7%
Comparing the first 11 months of 2012 to the same period in 2011, the CSO reports that:
- Overall visit numbers remained steady to the end of November (6.06 million visits)
- Visits from European markets (excluding Britain) were up by 2.6% (2.2 million visits)
- Visits from North America grew by 2.9% (962,000 visits)
- Other (i.e. long-haul) markets registered a 4.5% increase (346,100 visits)
- Britain registered a decrease of 3.7% (2.55 million visits).