The number of overseas visitors to Ireland grew by 11.2% in January this year – an overall increase of 65,800 compared to twelve months earlier, according to figures released from the Central Statistics Office.

Tourism Ireland welcomes the figures saying it represents a very good start to 2019, as it rolls out its promotional programme around the world.

The total number of visitors to Ireland in January was 651,300.

There was an increase of 10.4% to 266,700 in the number of people from Britain visiting Ireland, while visitors from other European countries grew by 12.2% to 231,600.

"We’ve also seen very good results from Mainland Europe, up +12.2% on January last year, with particularly strong performances from France, Germany, Spain and Italy," said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland. 

Trips by Americans and Canadians increased by 12.3% to 105,300 while trips to Ireland from other countries grew by 9.4% to 47,700. 

Tourism Ireland’s campaigns are in full swing around the world, to build on the success of 2018. "Our promotions will receive a tremendous boost next month, with our Global Greening initiative for St Patrick’s Day set to be even bigger and better than ever before," Mr Gibbons said. "St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us and we will be taking every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile. Our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue this year to €6.5 billion, for the island of Ireland."

The total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents during January 2019 decreased by 2.0% to 536,900, according to the CSO.