Tourism Ireland’s 8 Per Cent Visitor Increase A Lie

Tourist Guide “Destination Cashel.”

Someone once said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” The phrase is used to describe the persuasive power of numbers, particularly when the use of statistics is required in bolstering untruths and weak arguments.

Such is the case today, with Tourism Ireland welcoming the latest Central Statistics Office, Ireland (CSO) figures which show there was an eight per cent increase in the number of visitors holidaying in Ireland in 2011. Figures bandied about by RTE, Radio Stations and leading newspapers inform us that 6.6 million tourists came here in 2011 – that’s half a million more than in 2010.

Great, fabulous, our economy is on the up, very soon we can pay our debts and recover our valued sovereignty,” you say, but the truth is less sensational and sobering.

These figures being bandied about today are a gross exaggeration. According to the (CSO) visitor figures for 2011, there were only 6505 million, while statistics for Overseas Visitors visiting Ireland since 2004 are recorded as follows:-

Year: 2004 – Visitors 6574,  Year: 2005 – Visitors 6977,   Year: 2006 – Visitors 7709,  Year:  2007 Visitors 8012,  Year: 2008 – Visitors 7839,  Year: 2009 – Visitors 6928,  Year: 2010 – Visitors 6037, Year: 2011 Visitors 6505.

See the figures Here for yourselves. Truth is we had 1.5 million less visitors here in Ireland, in 2011, than we had in 2007.

Tourism Ireland did not state that according to the same CSO (30th August 2012) they forecast that in the period May – July 2012, the total number of visitor trips to Ireland fell by 2.2% to 1,937,800, or an overall decrease of 43,000, compared to the same period in 2011. Trips in 2012 by residents of Great Britain to Ireland, over the same period, dropped by 6.8% to 746,200. The number of visitors from North America decreased by 3.3% to 347,600. Visitors from European Countries, other than Great Britain (Other Europe), rose by 2.1% to 723,600 while visitors from ‘Other Areas,’ increased by 7.6% to 120,400.

See their 2012 figures Here , so who does Tourism Ireland believe they are fooling.

Ireland has two State organisations, uniquely by European standards, involved in Irish tourism, namely Tourism Ireland & Fáilte Ireland, former involved in international marketing, while the latter is involved in home marketing.

Fáilte Ireland, state that there were 6.24 million overseas visitors to the Republic in 2011 and they spent a total of €3.16 billion. The previous year there were 5.95 million visitors and they spent €3 billion, while in 2009 there were 6.58 million visitors and they spent €3.4 billion. Project director of The Gathering, Jim Miley, states that a more conservative estimate of a ‘per-person spend,’ is probably justified given that many of those who respond to ‘The Gathering Message,’ will be staying with family or friends.

A budget for tourism of €5 million has been sanctioned for this year, by Varadkar’s department, in order to promote the idea of “The Gathering Ireland 2013,” and it is expected a similar amount of public money will be spent on the project next year. However one fact is definite, little or none of this funding has been spent to market Thurles & North Tipperary.

Like the man said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”


6 comments to Tourism Ireland’s 8 Per Cent Visitor Increase A Lie

  • Katie O.Connell. Knott

    George. I total agree with you “Tourism Ireland have never promoted Thurles or North Tipperary especially here in Australia. I have seen them promoting a hotel at Babbacombe in Torquay England. Ask anyone especially the well known travel agents here,which I do quite often “have you heard of Tourism Ireland or Failte Ireland” I always get the same answer,”where are they?” Does that not say it all. All the name changing by Tourism Ireland will not make one bit of difference if they don’t promote the whole of the South of Ireland. Thurles and the North of Ireland have so much to offer the visitor and not forgetting this is what the visitors are really looking for something different and exciting about Ireland and not the same old places like Dublin Pubs etc. Been there and done that? The Irish Tax payer should be shouting from the higest mountain about this after all it is there hard earned money that is promoting these useless schemes. The Irish Government throw thousands of Irish Tax Payers money all over the place and into so many unworthy schemes. Look at a wealthy country like Australia who get huge hand out’s from The Irish Government every year and lets not forget “this is not Irish Government money but the hard earned Irish Tax Payer’s monies.” They should be pumping this money back into the Irish economy and not into a wealthy country like Australia. The Aussie Government deported 31 young Irish people last month back to Ireland because they overstayed there visa’s perhaps they would have been better coming by boat. Tourism Ireland are dreaming if they think all Irish visitors stay with family or friends. I know for a fact when my family from England, Australia and America go to Ireland they stay at a hotel in Thurles and love it. What about all those Irish visitors who dont have any family or friends in Ireland. Tourism Ireland are going around with blinkers on, they need to take them off now and have a good look around before it is to late. For Ireland most people are booking cruises and when I ask why not Ireland they answer is always.”IRELAND IS FAR TO EXPENSIVE,” JUST LOOK AT CAR HIRE!!

  • Katie O.Connell. Knott

    George. Could you or any of your readers help with the following! I emailed “The Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD” asking for information regarding returning to Ireland to retire.I need to get this information ASAP. David his Secretary emailed me back to let me know he had passed on my correspondence to Eamon Gilmore TD and that was over 2 months ago.I since have emailed Eamon Gilmore’s office but still no response but George that does not surprise me one bit the Irish Government has to be the worst people in Ireland to reply to correspondence. This is a question I get asked a lot and it can be a big worry for elderly people who are thinking about retirment in Ireland. I help the Irish expats here on the Gold Coast and try and help with there concerns as much as I can. It cost’s quite a bit to ring these Embassy’s and get an answering machine or if I am lucky I will get the odd human voice. No matter what I ask them about they seem to have no knowledge of what it is I am asking one even told me to ring the British Embassy I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.We wonder why we have an Irish ambassador here at all.
    I was asked by an elderly Irish lady she want’s to retire to the South of Ireland early next year.She is aged 75 years old and is not Australian Naturalized.She has been in Australia for 46 years and is on her own.She is hell bend on returning to Ireland? She asked would she be intitled to free health or does she have to take out private health insurance and about retirement Villages or Units. George I honestly do not know where else I can get this information from the “Irish Embassey” is absolutely usless either I get an answering machine or they never seem to know the answers to these questions. I did bring this up in my email with Enda Kenny and I do hope he will do something about these Embassies here in Australia.George your help or maybe some of your readers might know who I can contact is there anyone in Thurles. Any help will be much appreciated and thank you George for the information on accommodation in Thurles.

  • Chris
    Department of Justice +353 1 602-8202
    Department of Foreign Affairs
    80 St Stephen’s Green,
    Dublin 2
    Tel: +3531 4780822

    I believe she would be entitled to free medical card given she is over 70 but best to check with the Department of Social Protection and the HSE maybe she needs to have paid contributions to the state I don’t know. Because of her age the only insurer who will take her on is the VHI

    As for retirement villages only one i know of here is in Templemore and is owned by the TD Noel Coonan a search on should produce results for whichever part of Ireland she wants

  • Katie O.Connell. Knott

    Chris thank you for your response. I have been in touch with TD Noel Coonan and the others you mentioned. This will be a great help to us.



  • clare

    Well We can only speak for yourselves, but business from our perspective certainly hasn’t dwindled, our B and B has been full for most the year, especially at the peak season.

  • I am delighted with your success, but to be honest look at at the vast amounts of tourism funding spent in Co. Care over the past number of years. Over 4.2 million euro spent on the Burren region alone, 2 million of which came from Irisn taxpayers pockets. Ask yourself how much was spent on the Cliffs of Moher, while areas like Thurles in Tipperary were totally neglected?

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