IRELAND saw an increase in tourists from Britain in the first quarter of this year, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Ireland.
A growth of 1.4 per cent in visitors from Britain was reported, its best performance in four years.
The CSO data, counts overseas visitor numbers to Ireland in the three-month period covering January to March 2013, showed an overall global increase of 7.4 per cent on last year.
Tourism to Ireland was boosted by strong figures from Australia, North America and other developing markets such as China and India.
Tourism Ireland’s chief executive Niall Gibbons was encouraged by the strong start to the year, and looked to the future.
“Great Britain continues to be challenging… our aim is to grow British holidaymakers by 20 per cent, i.e. an additional 200,000 holiday visitors per year by 2016,” he said.
Overseas tourism accounts for 59 per cent of all tourism revenue to Ireland, worth an estimated €3.5 billion.