Written Answers. - Tourist Numbers.

Ivor Callely

Question:

215 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the estimated total number of visitors to Ireland in 2000; if he will indicate the numbers that are likely to travel through the Dublin air and sea ports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16201/00]

Bord Fáilte's marketing plan for Irish tourism 2000, entitled Marketing Focus 2000, forecasts overall growth of 7% in revenue and 6% in visitor numbers. In 1999, we welcomed a total of over six million visitors to Ireland, with estimated foreign exchange earnings of £2.5 billion making it the most successful year ever for Irish tourism.

While I am not aware of any estimates of the breakdown of visitor numbers through Dublin by air or sea, the Central Statistics Office publishes official tourism and travel statistics by route of travel. However, final figures for 2000 will not be available until early 2001.