Figures from the Central Statistics Office show there was a fall in the number of trips to Ireland between January and April of this year. Statistics showed a 1.2% drop to 1,165,100 in the number of trips to Ireland between January and March.
North America accounted for the biggest drop, where the number of trips fell 6.5% to 144,700. However, visitors from Britain increased by 2.1% to 562,400.
Trips from Ireland to overseas dropped 1.9% to 2,399,900 when compared with the same period in 2011.
Chief executive of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons said the results for the first quarter of 2012 were in line with expectations.
“The global economic landscape of recent months has certainly presented a challenging environment for travel and tourism and that is reflected in the CSO figures which show a drop of -1% for that three-month period,” Mr Gibbons said.
“However, our tourism industry and travel trade partners are generally more positive about the months ahead – particularly for quarters two and three – with reports of enquiries and advance bookings being well up on this time last year.”
Mr Gibbons said tourism in Ireland attributed for 200,000 people employed and contributes almost 4% of GNP.