The Central Statistics Office (CSO) have this week released figures for the first quarter of 2017 which show a decline of -7% in British visitors which has led to an overall drop of -1% in overseas visitors to Ireland in the first quarter of 2017.
This includes a decline of almost -8% in revenue from British visitors. Holidaymakers are up from North America (+16%), Mainland Europe (+6%) and from long-haul markets (+37%) but down from Britain (-15%).
Tourism Ireland says the challenge of Brexit for Irish tourism is "very real" and Ireland is beginning to see the impact of currency changes on tourism. The organisation led a delegation of senior Irish tourism industry representatives to London yesterday for a roundtable meeting with key players in the British travel trade where they discussed how the tourism industry can best respond to the challenges posed by Brexit.
Speaking this week, CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons said, "It’s more competitive than ever before in the international marketplace. The movement of sterling versus the euro and dollar, since the UK referendum on Brexit, makes Great Britain a more competitive destination for visitors from Mainland Europe and the United States."
He added, "We have observed our competitors – VisitBritain, VisitScotland and VisitWales – intensifying their operations across all of Ireland’s major tourism markets to capitalise on this. Therefore, competitiveness and our value for money message are more important than ever right now."