Tourism Ireland has seen visitor figures hit record high with the number of arrivals between January and June reaching 3.9 million, an 11.7% increase on the same period last year.

The figures from the Central Statistics Office show that more than 1.6 million arrivals were recorded from Britain, Ireland’s largest market, representing a growth of 9.4%, almost 140,000 extra British visitors compared with the first half in 2014.

Tourism Ireland chief executive officer Niall Gibbons welcomed the figures, saying: “Our aim is to ensure that 2015 is the best year ever for Irish tourism. Promoting the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route continues to be a major focus for Tourism Ireland around the world in 2015; we are also showcasing the new Dublin Discovery Trails and paving the way for Ireland’s Ancient East and the Gobbins Cliff Path.

"This year marks 150 years since the birth of Nobel laureate, WB Yeats, and Tourism Ireland is promoting Yeats2015 – particularly to our ‘culturally curious’ audience. This year has also been designated ID2015 (the year of Irish design), a showcase of the best of Irish design.”

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