Destination Golf Ireland 2018 * - Page 15

Tourism Ireland Looks Back on a record year for Irish Tourism €5.78 billion overseas tourism revenue in 2017, delivered by 10.65 million visitors. 2017 has been the best year ever for overseas tourism to the island of Ireland, with revenue generated by international visitors in the region of €5.78 billion (+6.7% on 2016), delivered by some 10.65 million visitors. Growth has come from all our main markets around the world, with the exception of Britain – with record numbers arriving here from North America, Mainland Europe, Australia and developing markets.  In December 2017, Tourism Ireland reflected on highlights of its promotional activity around the world in 2017. These have included campaigns for Ireland’s Ancient East, Dublin, the Wild Atlantic Way, Game of Thrones, a campaign to capitalise on the Women’s Rugby World Cup, as well as Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative on St Patrick’s Day, which was bigger than ever before this year. Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, said: “2017 looks set to be another record year for overseas tourism to Ireland. The latest CSO figures indicate that over 8.5 million people visited during the January to October period, an increase of +3.1%, or an additional 254,000 overseas visitors, when compared with 2016. Overseas tourism is likely to contribute over €4.9 billion to the Irish economy this year, helping to sustain 225,000 jobs in communities around the country. In Budget 2018, the Government continued to support the tourism sector with a €2 million capital investment in digital tourism marketing, increased funding for signature experience brands such as the Lakelands Region and for Greenways, as well as retaining the lower 9% VAT rate. The continued growth of the sector over the last number of years is testament to the great work being done all across the sector and today, I want to congratulate Tourism Ireland on another very successful year.” Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Throughout 2017, Tourism Ireland undertook a packed programme of promotions, to bring Ireland to the attention of travellers everywhere. A major focus of our activity was Ireland’s Ancient East, Dublin, the Wild Atlantic Way and Northern Ireland; other important themes have included screen tourism and, in particular, Game of Thrones.” At the beginning of this month, Tourism Ireland launched its marketing plans to promote Ireland in 2018, with a target to grow overseas tourism revenue by +5%, to €6 billion for the economies north and south, next year.  Skellig Michael Star Wars location Commenting on the year ahead, Niall Gibbons said: “We are heading into 2018 in a position of some strength, based on the success of 2017. Over the coming weeks and months, Tourism Ireland will once again leverage the huge global popularity of Star Wars for Irish tourism. We will launch the first phase of our new Star Wars campaign next week, targeting fans of the science fiction franchise everywhere.  “In 2018, Tourism Ireland will create ‘stand out’ for the island of Ireland around the world, highlighting iconic experiences like the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Titanic Belfast and the Causeway Coastal Route. We will also promote Dublin and Belfast, in particular for shoulder and off-peak travel.”  Information sourced from Tourism Ireland. For more information visit www.tourismireland.com Titanic Museum Belfast Wild Atlantic Way Sea Sessions Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, at Tourism Ireland’s end-of-year review. 13