THE NUMBER OF people visiting Ireland from overseas is up by seven per cent this year, the first rise in four years according to new figures from the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC).
The group is launching its end of year review today saying that there has also been a boost to employment with 6,000 jobs added to the tourism sector after seasonal adjustments over the last six months.
According to estimates from the ITIC, overseas visitors from mainland Europe are up 10 per cent while visitors from North America are up eight per cent contributing to an overall rise of seven per cent, RTÉ reports.
This tallies with research from Tourism Ireland, released a week ago, which said there had been a seven per cent increase in the number of overseas visitors compared with 2010.
It estimated that 7.4 million people will have visited Ireland by the end of this year.
ITIC said there were increases in the number of coach tours in 2011 while there were a record 87 cruise liners arriving at Dublin Port this year.
Despite the positive developments over the past twelve months, the figures are still well down on their peak levels in 2007.