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Sustaining Success – Fáilte Ireland sets out plans for 2019

Photo: “Wild Atlantic Way” – The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland © Tourism Ireland

“2018 has been the best year ever for the Irish tourism industry” according to Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland (Ireland’s National Tourism Development Authority). Creating a series of long-term tourism development plans for specific geographical regions and locations, developing new festivals to lengthen the tourism season and promoting careers in the tourism sector are just some of Fáilte Ireland’s key initiatives for 2019.

“Our aim is to deliver another record year in 2019 and we forecast that growth of as much as 5 % could be achieved,” says Paul Kelly. “For tourism to continue to grow, it will need to be planned in a sustainable way for visitors, industry, communities and the environment. Our plans for the year ahead focus on how we can both meet the challenges and leverage the opportunities facing the industry to keep the current growth momentum going – by spreading visitors across the country, and growing business in the off-season months, to make sure Ireland remains a high quality destination, which provides good value for our visitors.”

Latest estimates show that Ireland will have welcomed well over 9.6 million overseas tourists and 9.8 million domestic trips this year, generating €7.8 billion in revenue. Overseas visits to Ireland were up by 7.1 % for first 10 months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, with just over 9.1m overseas visitors from January to October:

  • British visitors increased by 1.0 % to 3.17 million visitors over the corresponding period last year,
  • North American visitors grew by 13.7 % to 2.1 million,
  • Mainland Europe increased by 9.6 % to 3.31 million visitors, with German (+19.8 %) and Italian visitors (+10.9 %) performing the strongest,
  • Visitors from all Other Areas (570,000) grew by 6.3 %.

Revenue generated by international visitors will touch €6.1 billion, an increase of 10 % over last year. There are now some 260,000 people employed in the tourism sector, an increase of 20,000 since 2017. The tourism industry is vitally important for Ireland, particularly when one considers that this growth in revenue and jobs is generated in many parts of the country where many other major industries do not exist.

This latter fact is always stressed by the RDA, when representing coach sector interests and concerns in Brussels and in Strasbourg with the European Commission and the European Parliament. Coach tourism, in particular, is a significant contributor to growth and development in hinterland regions.

Further information:


Annette Heinemann
Phone: +49 2244 90 33 33
Facsimile: +49 2244 87 74 22

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