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Cross-border tourism into NI nearly doubles in year – CSO

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The number of tourists travelling into Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland has almost doubled in a year, new figures have indicated.

Tourism NI welcomed the figures relating to numbers of overnight visitors as “unprecedented”.

According to figures released by the Central Statistics Office, 1.3 million overnight trips were taken by visitors from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland in 2023, up 46% compared to 2022.

These trips translated into almost three million overnight stays and spending of more than £267m, an increase of 48% on the numbers recorded in 2022.

The CSO data also indicated that all types of tourism grew rapidly in 2023, from holiday trips to visiting friends and relatives, and business tourism.

Tourism NI chief executive John McGrillen said the figures demonstrate the potential growth in the sector.

“These results are exceptional, especially given the tough economic climate and the increased levels of competition from other destinations,” he said.

“We are clearly reaping the rewards of additional investment in new visitor experiences in recent years, and increased marketing and promotion in the Republic of Ireland.

“Our research shows that every part of Northern Ireland is benefiting from this investment and the very strong growth in visitor numbers and spend which has resulted from it.

“While there continue to be challenges for the industry, these results demonstrate tourism’s growth potential as we look to the future.”

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