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Jump in visitors from the Republic boosts Northern Ireland tourism



A sharp uptick in the number of visitors from the Republic helped to offset a decline in the volume of visitors to Northern Ireland from abroad last year, providing a vital source of income in difficult times, the body charged with promoting the North’s tourism sector has said.

Some 1.3 million people travelled across the Border from the Republic in 2023, up 46.4 per cent from the previous year, according to the most recent data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). And they spent a total of almost £268 million, an increase of 47.9 per cent on 2022.

This translated into nearly three million overnight stays, Tourism NI said, across all categories of visit from holiday trips to business tourism.

“These results are exceptional, especially given the tough economic climate and the increased levels of competition from other destinations,” said Tourism NI chief executive John McGrillen. “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.”

While there are challenges, the sector continues to exhibit growth potential, he said.

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