Irish Tourism Industry ConfederationPress ReleaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECSO figures represent a mixed picture for Irish tourism.Brexit and Vat increase impacting on Ireland’s largest industry.November 26 2019: Today’s CSO figures represent a mixed picture for Irish tourism according to the CEO of ITIC Eoghan O’Mara Walsh. Although overall arrivals are marginally up for year to date the expenditure by tourists is likely to be down for 2019 due to shorter stays and market origin. Of particular concern to the industry is the 4th straight month of decline from the key North American market. O’Mara Walsh stated: ‘North America has been the main driver of growth for Irish tourism in recent years and success there needs to be consolidated. It is very disappointing that there is a decrease inoverseas marketing budgets for Tourism Ireland in 2020 with a softening market, Brexit and competitiveness challenges at play – this is particularly so given the Vat hike on the tourism industry this year’ITIC has called on the Government to release the €40m Brexit ‘no deal’ contingency fund earmarked for tourism in the budget. Jobs within tourism are down 2% according to latest CSO figures.