Tourism NI Chief Executive John McGrillen has welcomed Central Statistics Office data that shows a 13% growth in overnight trips from the Republic of Ireland between January and March 2017, and significant increases in revenue driven by higher spending business and holiday visitors. Within these figures pure holiday trips increased by 36%.
Republic of Ireland residents spent on average £33 more per night than the same period in 2016, in part due to the fact that more visitors stayed in commercial accommodation across Northern Ireland.
John McGrillen said: “Value for money is a key motivator for Republic of Ireland residents and the favourable exchange rates have helped to entice more visitors from this key market and encouraged them to spend more, with the euro worth 12% more in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 2016.
“This positive performance follows a very strong Tourism NI autumn 2016 campaign in the Republic of Ireland, backed by excellent value for money offers and strengthened by significant industry participation. Tourism NI’s own consumer research shows that, by early 2017, levels of interest to visit Northern Ireland had improved significantly, demonstrating that the positive performance was driven not just by the euro but also by increased visibility in the marketplace backed up by great deals.”
Fiona Cunningham, Republic of Ireland Market Manager, added: “Value for money coupled with world-class attractions such as Titanic Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway right on our doorstep demonstrates that more ROI visitors are exploring Northern Ireland and coming back for more. With top-class events including the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open next month and many new hotels planned, there is no better time to take a short break to Northern Ireland.”