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Tourist numbers to Northern Ireland via Republic up by almost 50% – Homepage – Waterford News & Star



By Rebecca Black, PA

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

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

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

John McGrillen, chief executive of Tourism NI, said the figures were ‘exceptional’ given the ‘tough economic climate’ (Tourism NI/PA)

These trips translated into almost three million overnight stays and spending of more than £267 million (€310 million), an increase of 48 per cent 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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