Record breaking year for NI tourism

Causeway the most popular spot
Causeway the most popular spot

Visitors to Northern Ireland spent almost £930 million as a record-breaking number of trips totalling almost five million were taken around the province during 2017.

Figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) estimate that tourism generated 4.9 million trips from all markets, an increase of 6%, and £926m visitor spend, £76m more than 2016 and an increase of 9%.

“Full performance figures for last year reveal we welcomed more visitors than even before to Northern Ireland continuing tourism’s upward trend to becoming a £1bn industry by the end of the decade,” said Tourism NI chief executive John McGrillen.

“The Giant’s Causeway was the most popular visitor attraction in 2017, attracting over one million visitors, the highest number of visitors reported in one year for a local attraction.”

Janice Gault, CEO of the NI Hotels Federation said: “Hotels continue to be the dominant player in terms of accommodation with over 2.1m rooms sold and 73% occupancy.

“The significance of this activity is evidenced by a substantial increase of 29% in spend which now sits at £90m and a 49% increase in the number of holiday makers,” she added.