Fall in Tourist Numbers in late 2011

Tourism Ireland today launched its brand new global advertising campaign – Jump into Ireland – to promote the country overseas over the next three years.

The campaign will be featured on television in the UK – the country’s largest and most important tourism market. The new ads will also be broadcast on French and German television as well as in cinemas in the UK, US, Spain and Italy.

An online ad campaign will also be launched in the other 22 markets in which Tourism Ireland has a presence.

Tourism Ireland’s chief executive Niall Gibbons said the group is targeting further growth in 2012 and its goal is to welcome over 9 million visitors to the island of Ireland by 2015, exceeding the record year for tourism of 2007.

Travel figures fell late last year

Official figures show a fall in the number of people travelling to Ireland between September and November, though visitor numbers for the year so far are still ahead of last year.

The Central Statistics Office said there were just over 1.5 million trips made to Ireland in the three-month period, down 4.1% or 65,300 compared with the same period a year earlier.

Visits from Britain – Ireland’s biggest tourism market – were down 2%, while trips from North America fell 11.7%. Visits from other European countries were down 2.9% compared with the same period last year.

For the first 11 months of the year, foreign trips to Ireland are up 6.8% – or 380,100 – to just over six million.

Late last month, the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation estimated that overseas visitors to Ireland increased by 7% in 2011 – the first increase in four years. Tourism body Fáilte Ireland is due to give its estimate later this week.

Meanwhile, Irish people made 58,700 fewer trips abroad from September to November – a drop of 3.9% to just over three million. For the first 11 months of 2011, Irish travel abroad fell by 4% to 5.98 million.

This article appeared in RTE Business News