Photo: Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. (Photo by Janeen Christoff)
The surge of travelers visiting Ireland has been so large that the country announced it is on pace to set an all-time tourism record in 2016.
According to RTE.ie, Ireland’s tourism bureau released its estimate for the 2016 total, coming in at 10.5 million people visiting the island by the end of the year. The estimated visitors would represent an 11 percent increase from 2015.
In addition, Tourism Ireland announced that international visitors will generate revenue of €5.4 billion in 2016, an increase of 10 percent from the previous year.
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Tourism officials are crediting an expansion of flights from the United States, Germany and the Middle East, as well as strong economies in key source markets.
Tourism Ireland believes 2017 has the potential to pass this year’s numbers as well, with a goal of increasing overseas tourism revenue by over 4.5 percent for next year.
As for what kind of tourists officials in Ireland should be targeting, leading tourism commentator Jim Deegan has suggested the country focus on bringing more visitors in from Europe. Instead of a heavy focus on the United Kingdom, the belief is that mainland European markets could be the key to long-term success.