Wednesday, February 27 11:21:47
The total number of trips to Ireland increased by 4.4pc between November and January to 1,248,300 - an overall increase of 52,900 compared to the same period twelve months earlier, latest CSO figures show.
Trips by residents of North America to Ireland increased by 12.2pc to 159,200.
Trips by residents of European Countries other than Great Britain (Other Europe) increased by 5.2pc to 425,600 while trips to Ireland from Other Areas increased by 16.1pc to 79,400.
Trips by residents of Great Britain increased by 0.6pc to 584,100.
The total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents during the period November 2012 - January 2013 increased by 1.0pc to 1,180,400.
Figures show that the total number of trips (Irish residents' trips overseas plus trips to Ireland) in the period November 2012 to January 2013 increased by 2.7pc to 2,428,700 when compared with the same period twelve months earlier.
For the period November 2011 to January 2012, there was an annual increase of 0.2pc in the total number of trips taken when compared to the previous corresponding period.
Commenting on the CSO figures, Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: "I am pleased to see growth of +4.4pc for the three-month period November 2012 to January 2013. Further analysis suggests good growth for the month of January alone, which represents a very positive start to 2013, as we roll out our promotional programme around the world."
"I particularly welcome the growth of +12pc from North America for November 2012 to January 2013. This year, we believe that North America holds the key to tourism growth. 2012 was one of the strongest years ever for visitors from the US to Ireland (after 2007) and 2013 could be the best year ever when we hope to welcome over one million American visitors, spending about US$1 billion. A critical factor which will underpin this growth is the significant increase about 26pc in the number of airline seats between the US and Ireland for the peak season (June to August)."