Posted on January 28, 2014 3:35 PM   |   Permanent Link   

Sean Kenny, the Dublin Bay North Labour TD and member of the Oireachtas Transport Committee, has welcomed the release of figures that show Ireland had a record numbers of visitors from North America in 2013.

"CSO figures show the total number of American visitors was a little over a million people, up 14% from 2012. I was very pleased to see that all of Ireland's main overseas tourism markets grew in 2013 compared to 2012; the number of visits from Great Britain grew by over 5%, while visits from Mainland Europe grew by just under 5%, and there was a 15% increase from locations further afield."

"I have no doubt that The Gathering played a significant part in this surge in tourism numbers and I want to pay tribute to all those involved with organising this, especially the local communities who played their part to perfection."

"Another reason for the surge in numbers is that since coming into office the Government has taken key decisions to bring about an increase in tourism to Ireland. The 9% VAT rate is being retained after it was originally brought in as a short term stimulus measure. The Air Travel Tax is being reduced to zero from April, and this is assisting in helping to secure additional airline capacity and routes in and out of Ireland. There is also a visa waiver scheme which has been operating, which is making it easier for tourists to visit Ireland."

"I know the work that went into increasing the number of visitors to Ireland in 2013 will be continued in 2013. Soon, Ireland's first long-distance touring route on the west coast of Ireland, to be known as the Wild Atlantic Way, which will be span from the Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal to Kinsale in Co. Cork. Major events will take place such as the 'Big Start' of the Giro D'Italia and there will be other events to come over the course of the year. Tourism is one of Ireland's largest industries, and it is set to contribute hugely to Ireland's economic recovery."