Dáil Éireann - Volume 475 - 05 March, 1997

Written Answers. - Tourism Statistics.

26. Miss de Valera asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade if he will give a breakdown of the latest tourism figures for each of the four seasons for 1996; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6007/97]

40. Ms Keogh asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade if he will report on the outcome of the tourism industry for 1996 and the outlook for 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6029/97]

Minister for Tourism and Trade (Mr. E. Kenny): I propose to take Questions Nos. 26 and 40 together. The Central Statistics Office has estimated that there were over 4.7 million overseas visitors to Ireland in 1996. The breakdown was as follows: January-March, 685,000; April-June, 1,317,000; July-September, 1,819,000 and October-December, 918,000. This represents an increase of over 11 per cent on 1995.

Foreign earnings from tourism for the first three-quarters of 1996 were as follows: January-March, £265 million; April-June, £512 million and July-September, £741 million. This represents an increase of over 12 per cent on the same period in 1995. Revenue figures for the final quarter are not yet available from the CSO.

It is clear that the pattern of above average growth rates of recent years was maintained in 1996, with particularly strong growth out of the [1715] US, UK and to a lesser extent mainland Europe. I am confident that 1997 will prove to be another successful year for the Irish tourism industry with Bord Fáilte targeting 7 per cent growth in visitor numbers and 9 per cent growth in revenue.