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Ireland welcomed 6.6m tourists

Ireland enjoyed a bumper year for tourism last year with 6.6 million visitors to the country. A new report on the state of the sector showed the number of visitors jumped by more than half a million in the year. Ireland TourismThe Central Statistics Office (CSO) said visitors from overseas increased by 7.9% between 2010 and 2011. And providing a much-needed boost for the economy, the CSO estimated that overseas visitors spent almost 3.6 billion euro during their trips. Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland chief executive, warned that continued success will depend on the state of overseas economies. "The 11% increase in holiday visitors is very encouraging, particularly as the increases occur across all market areas," he said. "Growth in visitor numbers will depend to a large extent on improved economic conditions and consumer confidence in our source markets." The knock-on effect of struggling economies was highlighted with the poor tourism performance from the US market. The CSO report found that visitor numbers from America were down 1.5% last year, with 10,000 fewer people travelling across the Atlantic to Ireland. Elsewhere, the report found the number of Irish people making trips abroad fell 4.2%, from 6.7 million to 6.4 million trips. The amount of money spent by Irish people going overseas dropped by 7.2%, from 5.2 billion euro in 2010 to 4.8 billion euro last year. Source: http://www.kerryman.ie/breaking-news/national-news/ireland-welcomed-66m-tourists-3226657.html

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