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Ring welcomes increased tourism revenue

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Ring welcomes increased tourism revenue


Áine Ryan

SINCE tourism is a major part of County Mayo’s economy, news highlighting that the overseas spend by visitors was up by 13.3 per cent in 2013 will be widely welcomed in the sector.   
CSO (Central Statistics Office) figures show that revenue rose to €26 billion, with a strong increase in the average spend by holiday-makers.
Welcoming the increased spend, Minister for State at the Department of Tourism, Michael Ring said: “2013 was the year in which Ireland’s tourism grew strongly thanks to a combination of The Gathering, more air access, good value and great tourism offerings.”
The detailed figures from the CSO show that spending in Ireland by overseas visitors for the first nine months of this year, excluding travel fares, rose by 13.3 per cent compared with the corresponding period of 2012. Growth in spending was recorded in all three types of traveller targeted by The Gathering – business travellers, holiday-makers and family visits. Spending by holiday-makers was up by 14.8 per cent for the first nine months of 2013, with an increase of 7.6 per cent in the number of pure holiday trips to Ireland.
“All of the statistics published to date show that The Gathering has achieved its primary purpose of growing the number of overseas visitors this year. This shows the enormous economic contribution associated with overseas visits. Total expenditure excluding fares in the nine month period amounted to €2,597 million which is a highly significant contribution to the Irish economy,” Mr Ring said.
The figures confirm significant growth in revenues across all main market areas, including the challenging British market. Indeed all the main markets grew over the first nine months of 2013, in comparison with the same period last year, with Great Britain up by 3.0 per cent; North America up by 12.6 per cent; Mainland Europe up by 19.3 per cent; and other long-haul markets up by 22.5 per cent.
Niall Gibbons, the Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland said: “This growth has been driven by strong increases in visitor numbers from almost all of our markets worldwide. In fact, we have seen the best performances ever this year from North America, Germany, France, Spain and from our long-haul markets with Australia and New Zealand in particular driving that growth. Other Mainland European markets, like the Nordic region and the Benelux have also performed well. And the British market has also seen growth in visitor numbers in 2013 which is particularly encouraging.”