One Million July Visitors 

One million people visited Ireland last month, as recovery across the tourism sector continued to gather pace.

Visitors from Continental Europe performed most strongly - down 7% on 2019, while the key North American market showed improvement with 268,000 visitors.

However, new figures from the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation show that visitor numbers were still down 11% in July compared to the same month in 2019. The data shows that so far this year, visitor numbers are down 24% when compared to the first seven months of 2019.

 ITIC said Ireland’s competitiveness is "under threat", stating that input costs and prices are rising faster than the European average. "Ireland is an expensive country to operate a tourism and hospitality business," said Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO of ITIC.

"Supply constraints across accommodation, labour and car hire risk putting a handbrake on Irish tourism’s continued recovery,"  he added.

ITIC has warned that the upcoming budget will be "vital" in supporting the sector's competitiveness. It wants to see the Government maintain the 9% tourism VAT rate, maintain tourism investment at current levels, increase car rental supply by reintroducing VAT back on VRT, address labour shortages, support regional air connectivity and incentivise the use of sustainable aviation fuel.