Home     |     About the Assembly     |     News & Events     |     Members     |     Plenary Sessions     |     Committees & Reports     |     Contact Us

McHugh welcomes increase in tourist numbers from Britain to Ireland

Added 12-Sep-2012

The Co-Chairman of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, Joe McHugh TD, has welcomed yesterday's figures from the Central Statistics office showing a 7.9% increase in tourists visiting Ireland last year, and the 4.4% increase in visitors from Britain in particular.

Deputy McHugh said that Britain remains Ireland's most important tourism market and welcomed the efforts by bodies such as Tourism Ireland and Bord Failte to increase the number of British tourists into Ireland.

Deputy McHugh said that in the context of the economic downturn and deep recession it will take considerable time for visitor numbers to return to pre-recession levels, but with sterling continuing to perform relatively strongly against the euro the opportunity exists to intensify efforts to attract greater number of British tourists to Ireland.

He added that tourism links are an ongoing topic of discussion by the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly and would form part of the agenda at the upcoming 45th plenary of the Assembly in Glasgow at the end of October.

Deputy McHugh commented, "The recovery in tourist numbers into Ireland from Britain, Europe, America and the rest of the world in 2011 following a series of difficulties in 2010 due to the effects of the Icelandic ash-cloud and the recession, is a positive development.

"However, we cannot be complacent and assume that this upturn will naturally continue without an holistic approach to encouraging greater numbers of people into Ireland to spend money, boost local economies the length and breadth of the country, and support employment.

"In this regard, Britain remains a primary market for Irish tourism and initiatives such as The Gathering 2013 provide an ideal basis to encourage more and more British people to either return to Ireland or to visit us for the first time. The size of the Irish community in Britain combined with the value they can now experience in Ireland for the first time in many years due to reduced prices and the strength of their currency means that special efforts should be made to attract British tourists to Ireland.

"The 4.4% increase provides optimism that British tourists are returning to Ireland and I look forward to exploring how we can identify policies to boost tourism during our meetings of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly."


© 2010 British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Website by Fuel