Glasnevin, Drumcondra and Whitehall Fine Gael Local Elections Candidate Noel Rock has welcomed the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office for overseas visits to Ireland and predicted a further boost after the travel tax falls to €0 next week.

The number of visits to Ireland for the period December 2013 to February 2014 increased by 11.3% compared to the corresponding period 12 months ago.

“Locally, this will mean a lot: our area is benefitting from increased business from tourism, which is something I have been keen to develop and promote. With the new Dublin City tour bus route finally coming Northside, allowing people to see the best of the city, we will continue to benefit. In addition, the redevelopment of O’Connell Tower, the linking of Botanic Gardens and Glasnevin Cemetery as well as the installation of a viewing deck on Croke Park will mean tourists have more reasons than ever to visit our great area. This is good for local businesses, which is good for local jobs”, Mr. Rock said.

“With regards to overseas visitors, these figures suggest that the positive momentum generated by The Gathering in 2013 is being maintained into 2014. We are seeing strong numbers from our most important markets like Great Britain, which is up 14.1%, North America, which is up 16.7%, and Germany, which is up 6.3%,” Noel Rock explained.

Comparing the 3-month period of Dec ’12 – Feb ’13 with the period Dec ’13 – Feb ’14:
• Overall trips to Ireland were up by 11.3%;
• Great Britain was up by 14.1%;
• Mainland Europe was up by 3.5%;
• North America was up by 16.7%;
• Visits from the rest of the world increased by 20.6%.
“Fáilte Ireland’s targeted marketing strategy in Britain appears to be paying off. Also, the Global Greening campaign, where 70 iconic sites across the world went ‘green’ to mark St Patrick’s Day, was was even bigger and better than ever before, truly capturing the imagination of people everywhere.

“Next week sees the reduction in the air travel tax to zero coming into effect. This initiative has already resulted in a number of carriers adding new routes into Ireland and will also help in terms of our competitiveness as a tourist destination,” Mr. Rock added.