“The latest CSO data shows that the number of visitors coming to Ireland has increased by 10.3% compared to the same period last year, this includes a jump in the number of people travelling to the North-East”, says Peter Fitzpatrick, Fine Gael TD for Louth.
“The number of overseas visits to Ireland between December 2014 and February 2015 increased by 10.3% to almost 1.5 million tourists.
“During a recent visit to Carlingford, the Minister for Sport, Michael Ring highlighted to me the importance of attractions like the Cooley Mountains, the festivities in Carlingford, the heritage of Drogheda and the amenities in nearby Dundalk to tourists in attracting visitors.
“The strength of the tourism offering in Louth continues to grow and we are in a very strong position to add to the current success. It is clear to those on the ground that more people are coming to visit, we see and deal with them every day, but now we have the details.
“Tourists from North America are up by 6.6%, 7.7% of new visitors are coming from the UK and 18.1% are coming from mainland Europe.
“Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe and the Taoiseach recently launched a new and ambitious, tourism plan “People, Place and Policy – Growing Tourism to 2025. It sets out ambitious targets for further growth in overseas visits.
“As part of this plan, revenue from overseas tourism will rise to €5 billion per year by 2025, there will be 250,000 people employed in tourism by 2025, compared with approximately 200,000 at present, and we will attract ten million overseas visits to Ireland by 2025, compared to 7.6 million in 2014.
“Tourism is a major area of potential growth for the North-East and in particular for county Louth. I am confident that tourism numbers in this area will continue to grow and I congratulate all those working in the business who have contributed to the sector’s success to date.”