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Varadkar upbeat after Irish visitor numbers fall

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Irish tourism minister Leo Varadkar has underlined the importance of focusing on attracting more business for Ireland, following the publication of the latest visitor number figures.

According to the Central Statistics Office, the number of overseas visitors was up by 6.8 per cent between January and November 2011, but fell between September and November.

Varadkar said that Ireland was in line for its first annual growth in visitor numbers for four years, despite the "less favourable results" in the latter part of 2011.

"2011 will see the first growth in visits to Ireland since 2007 thanks to the strong recovery in tourism we saw over the first three quarters of 2011," he said.

"It's important not to read too much into statistics which only cover a three month period. Nevertheless, these figures do show the importance of building up long-term links to key developing markets."

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Irish tourism minister Leo Varadkar has underlined the importance of focusing on attracting more business for Ireland, following the publication of the latest visitor number figures.
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