Restauranteurs welcome strong growth in overseas visitors

The Restaurants Association of Ireland welcomed the latest official data from the Central Statistics Office. The figures show that spending in Ireland by overseas visitors (excluding fares) for the first nine months of the year rose by 17.5%, compared with the corresponding period of 2014. The data also shows that the number of trips in the key target market of holidaymakers rose by 19.6%. The figures are published in the CSO’s Tourism and Travel statistics.

Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins, said; “The official figures confirm what many of our restaurant members have reported- that visitor numbers are up. When a tourist visits the country, they must eat out at least three times a day, and giving them positive experiences in our restaurants is a great way to secure a repeat visit.”

“Feedback we’re hearing from visitors is that Ireland is great value to dine out at the moment, and we’re trying to sustain that value with our campaign to keep the VAT on food and hospitality at 9%. Over 33,000 jobs have been created since the introduction of the VAT rate at 9%. Measures like the reduction of VAT in 2011, The Gathering, The Wild Atlantic Way and the newly established Ireland’s Ancient East work hand-in-hand to bring visitors into the country and keep them coming back.”

Mr Cummins added “This growth is of enormous importance for the country considering the contribution tourism makes to the wider economy by supporting 250,000 jobs. The Governments tourism policy statement includes targets to be achieved by 2025 of an extra 50,000 jobs in the tourism sector and 10million overseas visitors. These targets are attainable as long as the 9% VAT rate is set as a permanent VAT rate and much needed investment in tourism and hospitality training takes place over the coming years. We look forward to working with Minister Donohoe and our partners in the tourism industry to keep driving forward both overseas and domestic tourism.”

Today’s CSO figures on Overseas Travel show:

The figures confirm significant growth in revenue across all our main market areas. In terms of the spend associated with overseas visits, all of our main markets grew in the first nine months of 2015 compared to 2014:

  • Great Britain increased by 9.2%;
  • North America increased by 27.1 %;
  • Mainland Europe increased by 18.5%;
  • Other long-haul markets increased by 9.3%

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