Figures from the Ireland’s Central Statistics Office indicate this was the best ever January to June period for overseas visitors to the country, with almost 3.9 million arrivals recorded.
Overseas visitor numbers have increased by 11.7 per cent over the first half in 2014 – an additional 407,100 visitors.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures indicate that this was the best ever January to June period for overseas visitors to Ireland.
“Our aim is to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism.”
More than 1.6 million arrivals were recorded from GB, the largest market for Irish overseas visitors, representing growth of 9.4 per cent, almost 140,000 extra British visitors compared with the first half in 2014.
Visitor numbers from the United States and Canada were up almost 15 per cent over the period, with about 85,000 extra American and Canadian visitors in Ireland.
Ireland now welcomes ten per cent of all American visitors to Europe – particularly noteworthy given the intense competition from other destinations.
Gibbons continued: “Promoting the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route continues to be a major focus for Tourism Ireland around the world in 2015; we are also showcasing the new Dublin Discovery Trails and paving the way for Ireland’s Ancient East and the Gobbins Cliff Path.
“This year marks 150 years since the birth of Nobel laureate, WB Yeats, and Tourism Ireland is promoting Yeats2015 – particularly to our ‘culturally curious’ audience.”