Significant increase in visitors and spend from the Republic in first 6 months
According to latest statistics released by the Central Statistics Office in the Republic total trips to Northern Ireland rose by 23% while spend by Republic of Ireland visitors reached almost £40 million between January and June 2017.
Growth in trips was largely due to the higher spending holiday market, which was up by a third compared to the same period in 2016. Republic of Ireland visitors spent on average £31 more per night compared to the first six months of 2016, due in part to the fact that more visitors stayed in hotel and guest accommodation.
Commenting on the latest tourism performance Naomi Waite, Tourism NI Director of Marketing said;
“Value for money is a key motivator for Republic of Ireland residents and the favourable exchange rates have helped to entice more visitors from this key market and encouraged them to spend more, with the euro worth 11% more during January to June 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.
“This positive 2017 performance also follows recent Tourism NI campaigns in the Republic which had unprecedented industry participation and have led to even greater interest in and knowledge of Northern Ireland as a short break destination”.
Findings from Tourism NI’s June 2017 Tourism Industry Barometer suggests a positive outlook for the remainder of the year, with hotels and attractions most optimistic and Titanic Belfast reporting a 16% increase in Republic of Ireland visitors year to date.
Tourism NI has recently launched its latest Say Hello to More advertising campaign in the Republic of Ireland. The campaign includes broadcast, press and digital advertisements of suggested 48 hour itineraries encouraging visitors to come to Northern Ireland and to stay longer and do more.