Tourism Ireland has welcomed the figures for overseas visitors to Northern Ireland for January – March 2019, issued by NISRA (Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency) today. The figures confirm that we welcomed 409,000 overseas visitors in Q1, up +8% on Q1 2018. Holidaymakers from overseas accounted for almost 114,000 visitors – up +28%. Overseas visitors delivered almost £94 million for the local economy in the first quarter of 2019 – down -7% on Q1 in 2018.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Figures published by NISRA today confirm that we welcomed almost 409,000 overseas visitors to Northern Ireland in the first quarter of 2019. I am particularly pleased to see growth of +28% in holiday visitors from overseas, with a significant increase in holidaymakers recorded from GB (+44%).”
Niall Gibbons continued: “Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that tourism growth from overseas continues. We are rolling out an extensive programme of promotions throughout 2019, to highlight Northern Ireland around the world. We continue to leverage our connection with Game of Thrones; last week, our hand-crafted Game of Thrones Tapestry went on display in Bayeux, within walking distance of the legendary 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry – which was a key source of inspiration for its new neighbour. This story has since been widely covered by media outlets around the world.
“Tourism Ireland continues to showcase iconic experiences like Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway and our unique National Trust properties; and to promote Northern Ireland as a world-class golf destination and, in particular, the fact that The Open took place at Royal Portrush this summer. Our aim is to position Northern Ireland as a year-round, ‘must visit’ destination and to ensure that the contribution of overseas tourism to the local economy continues to expand.”
Overseas tourism delivers over £560 million per year for the Northern Ireland economy, helping to sustain over 65,000 jobs in local communities.