Minister of State Joe McHugh Teachta Dála has welcomed the announcement from the Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe on the 8.8 per cent increase in overseas visits to Ireland for the first ten months of 2014.
Commenting on the announcement, Minister McHugh said “I welcome the announcement from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport on the strong performance for the tourism sector as it signifies that the measures this Government implemented to help the tourism sector are continuing to work while the people of Ireland continue to benefit greatly from the increase in revenue and jobs that this increase provides.
“The figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show a solid increase in all the major markets for tourism as there have been over 6.5 million visits to Ireland over the first 10 months, an 8.8% increase over the same period in 2013. Visits from Mainland Europe grew by 6.9% during this period, while visits from North America grew 14.5%, and visits from Great Britain, Ireland’s largest market, grew by 8% for the first ten months of 2014. These numbers show that tourism in Ireland is almost back to pre-downturn levels and the goal will be to continue to sustain and increase these promising numbers.
“Part of this solid increase has to be accredited to the extremely successful Wild Atlantic Way as the new adventurous project continues to draw visitors from across the world. This success can be seen in Donegal as Malin Head, Fanad Head, and Slieve League draw visitors in with their stunning beauty and wonderful people. The local economies in Donegal benefit greatly from an increase in tourism as it provides additional revenue and jobs that otherwise would not be there. It should remain this Government’s prerogative to maintain this increase and push it to even new heights to make the sure the people of Ireland can reap these benefits.
“I want to commend the efforts of groups like Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland for continuing to look for new and exciting ways to foster growth in the tourism sector and continuing to bring the additional revenue and jobs that Ireland needs. The international tourism market continues to be increasingly competitive and it is largely thanks to groups like these that Ireland is able to succeed in bringing visitors from across the world to come and enjoy the many beautiful things this country has to offer.
“These figures show that Ireland continues to be a desirable destination for overseas visitors and it is the duty of the Government to ensure that these figures rise to even higher levels. I commend the Minister for helping bring about this increase and his intentions to make sure that they only continue to increase so that the additional revenue and jobs that come with tourism continue to come to Ireland.”